World Teachers’ Day 2019: UNESCO hosts conference on future of teaching profession
After launching UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative at the United Nations General Assembly in New-York in September to engage a global re-thinking of education, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay is calling on governments to ensure that teaching can become a profession of choice for young people, dedicating World Teacher’s Day 2019 to Young teachers: the future of the profession.
A daylong conference on the future of the profession will take place at UNESCO Headquarters, on 7 October, and the forthcoming issue of the UNESCO Courier magazine to go online on 5 October takes stock of profession’s standing worldwide. Other events will be held around the world on World Teachers Day.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, will open the conference, followed by Kenyan science teacher, Peter Tabichi—a Franciscan Brother, who won this year’s Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize—who will deliver a keynote address. The opening will also feature messages from Oliver Liang, Head of Public and Private Services Unit, International Labour Office, and David Edwards, General Secretary, Education International (the teaching profession’s international body), whose organizations partner with UNESCO in celebrating World Teachers Day. The opening will furthermore include a performance by Burkinabe rap artist, Nael Melerd.
Teaching plays a pivotal role in ensuring delivery of the internationally recognized 4th Sustainable Development Goal to ensure quality education for all by 2030. This goal cannot be achieved without teachers.
The profession needs to recruit 69 million new teachers to meet the 2030 deadline. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the shortage of teachers affects 70% of countries overall and 90% of countries at the secondary level.
In a joint message for the Day, the heads of UNESCO, the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNICEF, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Education International, caution that, “without a new generation of motivated teachers, millions of learners will miss out, or continue to miss out, on their right to a quality education. With teachers being underpaid and undervalued, attracting and retaining talent is a challenge. Attrition rates are rising rapidly worldwide, due in part to precarious employment and scarce opportunities for continuous professional development. Furthermore, there is a lack of resources for children with special education needs and disabilities, refugees and multilingual pupils.”
On World Teachers Day, we celebrate the work of dedicated teachers around the world who strive every day to ensure that an inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities become a reality for all.
See: World Teachers Day
Conference Agenda: https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/wtd-2019-agenda-en.pdf
About the Futures of Education initiative: https://en.unesco.org/futuresofeducation/
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