DR SHANKAR CHATTERJEE

Teachers whether primary, secondary, college or university or any other Institution are the mentor/Guru for all of us as a child to the youth they guide us from time to time in the proper direction. My parents and grandparents were my initial teachers after primary school to university till the completion of my Ph.D.

I have come across many teachers so on this occasion of World Teachers’ Day, I offer my Pronam to all of them. After my university education, I have joined a college in the teaching profession and subsequently worked in India and abroad in the teaching profession and still, I have been getting huge respect.

It is pertinent to mention that World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October to celebrate all teachers around the globe.  It commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.

The Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching personnel in higher education. World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated since 1994.

Joint statement from UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF and EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL (points from the first page have been included albeit there are two pages in the joint statement):  “On World Teachers’ Day, we are not only celebrating every teacher. We are calling on countries to invest in them and prioritize them in global education recovery efforts so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher. Let’s stand with our teachers!”

Joint Message from Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and  David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International, on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2021:

“Teachers at the heart of education recovery5 October

2021Nearly  two years  since the  outbreak of  the  COVID19  pandemic,  many  education systems are  still  facing significant disruptions.  Students and teachers in close to  60 countries remain affected by full or partial school closures. But whether students are learning in person or remotely, teachers are at the heart of the process. The pandemic has shone a light on the irreplaceable value of the teaching profession in society but also on the difficult working conditions facing many teachers.

Teachers have been  on  the  frontlines to  ensure learning  continuity  when  schools  were  closed  and  to provide socio-emotional support to their students, especially the most vulnerable ones. They have had to rapidly adapt to remote learning and manage new digital tools, often without training.  Today,  they must  assess  and  address learning  losses  among  their students, cope with issues of health and safety in the classroom, and leverage remote, hybrid and in-person methods to minimize disruption.

Today we celebrate the exceptional dedication and courage of all teachers, as well as their capacity to adapt and innovate under very challenging and uncertain conditions. They are at the heart of global education recovery efforts and are key in accelerating progress towards inclusive, equitable and quality education for every learner, in every circumstance.Now is the time to recognize the exceptional role teachers play and to empower them with the training, professional development, support and working conditions they need to deploy their talent.

This is a  time of challenge but  also  an  opportunity for  rapid transformation  to  address  the  unfulfilled  needs  which  have  been  multiplied  by  the  pandemic.  Sub-Saharan  Africa alone requires  15  million  more teachers  to  reach  the  education  goals  by  2030.  Surmounting these challenges requires bold commitment,  investment and innovation on a scale like never before. A  successful education recovery starts with ensuring teachers’  well-being,  adequate remuneration and safety, including their prioritization for vaccination together with other key workers. A  successful education recovery calls for investment in more teachers and in training and professional development opportunities, so that educators may enrich their practice and gain the skills to integrate and use educational technologies effectively to support learning and adapt to a diversity of learners’ needs.

On World Teachers’ Day, we are not only celebrating every teacher. We are calling on countries to invest in them and prioritize them in global education recovery efforts so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher.  Let’s stand with our  teachers!”

(en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldteachersday).

In India since 1962, 5 September is celebrated as Teachers’ Day as on this day in 1888 a great scholar, philosopher, erudite person and statesman Dr. SarvepalliRadhakrishnan was born at Thiruttani, Madras Presidency of India. So on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, I am concluding with two quotes of Dr. SarvepalliRadhakrishnan, albeit there are many things he told about the teachers, “Teachers should be the best minds in the country” and “True teachers are those who help us think for ourselves”.

Dr. Shankar Chatterjee is a former Professor & Head (CPME), NIRD& PR, Hyderabad. He can be reached at:  shankarjagu@gmail.com

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