The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Teachers’ Day (WTD) is annually observed across the globe on 5 October to recognise the important role that teachers play in education around the world.
- WTD also aims to reflect on the support teachers require to maximize their impact on students and society and to rethink the future of the teaching profession globally.
The theme of WTD 2023 is “The teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage“.
- The theme underscores the need to support, respect, and celebrate educators to address teacher shortages and make the teaching profession more appealing.
WTD is co-convened in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Education International (EI).
i.On 5th October 1966, ILO and UNESCO signed a recommendation concerning the ‘Status of Teachers’ and adopted it at a special intergovernmental conference convened by UNESCO in Paris, France.
ii.In 1994, the UNESCO declared 5th October as World Teachers’ Day to celebrate the efforts made for teachers in 1966.
- The first ever World Teachers’ Day was observed on 5th October 1994.
Significance of October 5:
i.The date October 5 commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.
ii.October 5 also celebrates the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel by the UNESCO General Conference in 1997.
- It complements the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching personnel in higher education.
To commemorate the WTD 2023, various events were organised:
i.An opening ceremony and Recognition and appreciation events were held in Paris (France) on 5 October 2023. The event aims to recognize and appreciate the role of teacher prizes in enhancing the status of the profession. The awards aim to celebrate their achievements and encourage the sharing of good practices.
A wide diversity of prizes aims at rewarding outstanding practices in the teaching profession at national, regional, and global levels. Some of the popular awards are:
- The UNESCO-Hamdan Prize for Teacher Development;
- The Global Teacher Prize;
- The African Union Continental Teacher Prize;
- The European Innovative Teaching Award, and
- The Malaysia Teacher Prize and many National Teacher Prizes
ii.2 online events regarding the “Teacher education in emergencies to support attraction and well-being” and “Global pathways to an attractive teaching profession” were organised on 6 October 2023.
iii.On WTD 2023, UNESCO presented an exhibition that celebrates educators from all corners of our planet, recognizing their dedication, passion, and commitment to shaping the future.
- The exhibition served as a visual testament to the influence of teachers and the importance of their vocation.
Teachers’ Day in India: In India September 5th of every year is observed as Teachers’ Day since 1962 to honour the 2nd President of the country Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, whose birth anniversary falls on the same day.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
UNESCO’s Constitution was adopted in London (United Kingdom) in 1945, it entered into force in 1946.