Today in Lao PDR, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day. The day commemorates the adoption of the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of teachers in 1966. This recommendation is morally binding for all countries.
In many countries, the quality of education is undermined by a deficit of teachers. 1.4 million teachers are missing in classrooms – and they are needed to achieve universal primary education (UPE) by 2015.
Added to the challenge of numbers is one of quality: all too often, teachers work without resources or proper training. The stakes are high, because we face today a global learning crisis, with 250 million children not acquiring basic skills of reading and writing
As countries accelerate towards 2015 and the new development agenda is shaped, it is essential that teachers remain a priority.
The Global Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda states the essentials for supporting teachers’ effectiveness: (1) good conditions of employment, including appropriate contracts and salaries, and prospects for career progression and promotion; (2) good conditions in the work environment, based on creating school contexts that are conducive to teaching; (3) high-quality pre-and in-service training for teachers, based on respect for human rights and the principles of inclusive education; and (4) effective management, including teacher recruitment and deployment.
The international community and governments need to stand united to support teachers and quality learning worldwide, but especially in those countries where the highest number of out-of-school children exists.
This World Teachers’ Day UNICEF, UNESCO and their partners invite all to help spread the message that investing in teachers is key. Afterall, an education system is only as good as its teachers.