Since the inception of World Teachers’ Day celebration in 1994, awareness and understanding of teachers and their career have placed them to better spots. At last, they are no longer the unsung heroes behind the pursuits and life journey of every student who go through their tutelage. Finally, teachers are recognized in the open where support and appreciation are honestly poured in because indeed, they are worth every amount of credit.
October 5 is marked as a special and unique holiday in many countries as a fitting tribute to teachers who are stalwart warriors against illiteracy. UNESCO declares this day as an embodiment of mankind’s gratitude to the individuals that have contributed to the whole educational system and development of the populace. The Education International (EI) which is composed of 401 teachers’ organizations continually makes efforts to promote a distinction of teachers by highlighting their involvement in the molding of future generations. EI also believes that the principles stated in the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations from UNESCO and International Labor Organization (ILO) must be implemented in every nation.
In 1966, a joint recommendation was endorsed by the ILO and UNESCO regarding the status of teachers. This recommendation was followed up in 1997 by another proposal by the UNESCO in relation to the status of higher education teaching personnel.
Foreword in the recommendations states,
“The challenge is more than one of numbers. The quality of teachers and teaching is also essential to good learning outcomes. This implies an education system that attracts and retains a well-trained, motivated effective and gender-balanced teaching staff; it implies a system that supports teachers in the classroom, as well as in their continued professional development. Dissatisfaction with loss in status, low salaries, poor teaching and learning conditions, and lack of career progression or adequate professional training has driven large numbers of teachers out of the profession, sometimes after only a few years of service.”
Quality not quantity
There has been a long-standing deliberation in all nations more particularly in the third world that the quality of education is often compromised because of the dearth of good and dedicated teachers. According to the UNESCO recommendation, this problem is often caused by the lack of assurance among teachers on their own status in the profession. Low salaries, lack of learning materials, deficient training and continuing education are among the factors that contribute to mediocre classroom instruction. It is widely acknowledged that teachers, in order to perform their duties effectively must also be able to meet their own needs, thereby the urgency for reasonable salaries. They must similarly enjoy support from institutions so that they can pursue further schooling to augment their knowledge of the subject they teach and at the same time enhance their teaching skills.
New breed of teachers
The new breed of teachers currently emerging all over the world is a noticeably strong, energetic and assertive bunch of youthful professionals. With this observation, organizations that support the learning system are optimistic of much improved education worldwide. Educators believe however that there must be a strong back up from government and private groups so that teachers will likewise enjoy the benefits of their profession.