TEACHERS will tomorrow join their counterparts around the world to mark World Teachers’ Day. The event, also known as International Teachers’ Day is held yearly on October 5.
World Teachers’ Day was established in 1994. It commemorates the signing of the UNESCO/ILO recommendation concerning the status of teachers, which is a standard setting instrument that addresses the status and situation of teachers around the world.
The United Nations World Teachers’ Day celebrates the role teachers play in providing quality education at all levels and this enables children and adults of all ages to learn to take in and contribute to their local community and global society.
The theme for 2018 World Teachers’ Day is ‘The Right to Education Means the Right to a Qualified Teacher’. This year’s event commemorates the 70th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1994) and serves as a reminder that the right to education cannot be realized without trained teachers.
According to UNESCO, World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.
It is similarly the belief among the officials of Education International that World Teachers’ Day should be internationally recognized and celebrated around the world. The organisation also believes that the principles of the UN 1966 and 1997 Recommendations should be considered for implementation in all nations.
Over 100 countries observe World Teachers’ Day and are currently celebrating excellence in the teaching profession in their respective countries. The efforts of Education International and its 401 member organisations across the world have contributed to this widely spread recognition.
Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) demands inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030. The needs are urgent with an estimated 263 million children and youth still out of primary and secondary school globally.
SDG 4 includes a specific call for more qualified teachers and more support from the international community for teacher training in developing countries.
Teachers’ Day has become an occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession.
According to experts, teachers are key to achieving inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
Experts believe that education transforms lives; it is the driver of economic and social development, promotes peace, tolerance and tool to achieving personal fulfillment.
They are of the opinion that teachers are the means through which education is transmitted; without teachers, the goal of Universal Primary and Secondary Education, a fundamental human right cannot be met.
Teachers have a very significant contribution towards the global frame work of growth and development and play a pivotal role in creating sound and greatly enabled future generation.
However, experts say that projects indicate that there is a global shortage of teachers across the world.
They believe there is need to recruit new teachers to expand access to children and youth out of school and to replace those teachers who are expected to leave the workforce.
“Teachers shortages are hampering efforts in many low-income countries to achieve quality, equitable and inclusive education”, they espoused
Education experts also argue that teachers in rural areas where quality education is said to be lowest should be the best compensated with more teachers provided.
Commenting on issue the Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, said a good training for teachers will help rebuild the country’s educational system.
According to Prof Ajiboye, the quality and quantity of teachers demand a strong policy response.
“Rebuilding the system should take into account how the once cherished vocation, the mother of all professions should attract the best brains and retain them. Professional training is critical just as mastery of subject matter, teachers’ welfare and an environment that promote learning,” he said.
Commenting on this year’s theme, an educationist, Yetty Adigun, noted the need for regular capacity for teachers.
“I recall in the past when the teaching profession was an entity of pride as most people would want to be associated with teachers but know it is a profession people do not want to go into,” she noted.
She appealed to government both at the federal and state to equip the Colleges of Education in the country to make them compete favourably.
Another educationist, Bola Taiwo, appealed to government to tackle challenges confronting the teaching profession to include funding, infrastructural decay, insecurity and lack of capacity development.
Also speaking, a parent, Priscillia Njoku , noted that teachers should be well motivated in the society.