World Teachers' Day - 5 October 2017

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© Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers


Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which celebrated its 50th anniversary during last year’s edition. The 1966 Recommendation constitutes the main reference framework for addressing teachers’ rights and responsibilities on a global scale.

This year, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel. Teaching personnel at institutions of higher education are often overlooked in discussions concerning the status of teachers. Like teachers at pre-primary, primary, and secondary levels, teaching in higher education is a profession requiring expert knowledge, specialized skills, and pedagogical competence.

 

World Teachers’ Day 2017 will be celebrated under the theme “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”, echoing the 2015 theme that followed the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) in September 2015, when teacher empowerment was reaffirmed as a top priority in all education and development strategies.

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually worldwide and brings together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, teachers and experts in the field of teaching. With the adoption of SDG 4 on education, and the dedicated target 4.c recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda, it has become the occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession, like the acute shortage of teachers. Indeed, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the world needs 69 Million teachers if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.

UNESCO global event - 5th October 2017

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Recommendation, an international conference will take place at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris. It will bring together teachers, trainers, policy-makers, as well as researchers and other education stakeholders to celebrate teaching, academic freedom, and what we need to do to ensure quality higher education and a sustainable future for the teaching profession.

The objectives of the conference are:

  • To celebrate and highlight the contribution of teachers, from pre-primary through to higher education, to the education and development of our future citizens.
  • To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Recommendation concerning Higher-Education Teaching Personnel.
  • To discuss the issue of quality in higher education teaching and what this means for quality teaching at all levels of education in light of achieving SDG 4 on inclusive and quality education for all.
  • To showcase and discuss progress and persistent challenges in higher education such as institutional autonomy, academic freedom, and professional development of higher-education teaching personnel.

Download the concept note and programme

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