On October 5 of every year, people worldwide celebrate World Teacher’s Day. This day commemorates the efforts of teachers and education systems worldwide in helping children to learn. Every year, a variety of activities are held across the world on this day. In India, for example, schools hold awareness campaigns about how important it is for children to have access to education. There are also special movie screenings that focus on education.
How World Teacher’s Day started
The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have declared October 5 as World Teachers’ Day to acknowledge the critical role of teachers in our lives by improving their status and ensuring that their governments respect them, employers, colleagues, and society at large. This day was proposed by former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2002. He was a reputed scientist who later became the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007.
The day commemorated the anniversary of A P J Abdul Kalam’s birth on October 15, 1931, and he celebrated his birthday by campaigning for literacy. On his birthday in 2015, UNESCO declared October 5 as World Teachers’ Day after its executive council ratified a resolution proposed by India’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO.
Who Celebrates World Teachers day
World Teacher’s Day is celebrated worldwide to honor teachers and promote the teaching profession worldwide. In this regard, UNESCO organizes various events yearly, including seminars, grand award ceremonies, etc. It also responds actively to needs identified during these events, such as strengthening teacher education programs, providing teachers with more access to educational information, etc.
The event is celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Mexico, and Turkey.
The most famous personalities who have spoken about this great day are Barack Obama (2015) & Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan(2014).
How else does UNESCO promote Education
UNESCO has also instituted the “Classrooms Without Walls” program to increase global education opportunities for all children. It’s a great initiative to connect young people through technology (“online classrooms”). In this program, 14-year-old Anya from Canada shares her ideas on ensuring quality learning in any environment.
In the Classroom Without Walls video, she talks about ‘significant outcomes’- achieving a proper understanding of concepts rather than memorizing facts and procedures.
She emphasizes that instead of asking what one can learn with technology, we need to ask what they cannot know without it (technology).
Anya then talks about how it is essential to be open-minded about technologies meant to bring positive educational changes.
Why World Teacher’s day is necessary
UNESCO’s program ‘EFA Global Monitoring Report’ states that one-third of all adults worldwide are illiterate, and almost half are women. UNESCO wishes to change this situation by 2050, focusing on three main goals: quality learning, lifelong learning opportunities, and equitable learning outcomes for all children across all contexts.
Education is much more than just reading, writing, and mathematics skills which can be improved through innovative internet resources like Khan Academy tutorials online. The report has identified four priorities areas that need to be addressed at the global level to improve education:
- Quality and learning outcomes
- Tracking and accountability and
- Human and financial resources.
UNESCO has also launched the ‘Quality Teacher in Action’ campaign to generate discussion about teachers, their roles, and responsibilities in local communities. The petition aims to celebrate great teachers while calling for all stakeholders responsible for education to be accountable for children’s rights to learning.
With the amount of time they dedicate to educating our children, it only fits that we celebrate World Teacher’s Day every year. It may be hard for some people to think about teachers outside school hours (and for a good reason). Still, this holiday is an excellent opportunity to recognize all their efforts and contributions to society and show gratitude for everything they do.
If you know someone currently teaching or has taught in the past, make sure you thank them today! They deserve your appreciation more than anyone else. What are ways you can help support current teachers? How will you use this day moving forward? Share your thoughts below such other readers can learn what works best for others.