“Teachers are keys to reaching education goals for all children, especially the poor and vulnerable”. This is one of the messages we hear on World Teachers’ Day, but what if there is no one who can unlock doors of knowledge?
Today, on October 5th, around 57 million children of primary school age are out of school. This means that there is a shortage of 5.24 million teachers in order to reach the goal of universal primary education by 2015.
In particular, 1.58 million new teaching positions will have to be created worldwide, while 3.66 million teachers leaving the profession will need to be replaced. As new teachers are recruited, the quality of teaching and learning must also continue to improve, the Heads of UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO (the International Labour Organization) agree.
Out of those 57 million children who still do not attend school, it is estimated that nearly half will never enter the educational institutions, while only 28 percent will begin their education – and it will happen too late. According to various researches, 54 percent of them are girls. There are one billion uneducated people in the world, of which 800 million are children.
Beside these warning data, the problem is also in the low level of learning. It is estimated that 250 million children fail to learn to read and write at the age of 10.
In Africa, for example, 1 million new teachers will be needed over the next two years, just to meet rising enrollment in sub-Saharan Africa, and 6.2 million teachers will be needed to make up for attrition. In the world’s newest country South Sudan, the ratio of qualified teacher to pupil is 1:117. Many untrained teachers don’t have a secondary level education and some just don’t show up to work.
In Serbia, the situation is also far from ideal. World Teachers’ Day passes almost unnoticed, and the state allocates 3.3 percent of GDP for education, while the average in the world is almost twice as much – about 6 percent.
What this all tells us:
- The world needs professional, well-trained, accountable and valued teachers
- Teachers are the central solution to the crisis of learning
- Teachers must participate in the strategy development of education in every country
- Teachers need to be paid better, because their work is extremely responsible, and the children’s future depends on it
- It is necessary to improve the conditions in which teachers conduct classes
- It is important to create more effective educational systems and prepare young people for active and responsible participation in society
- Let’s be grateful for teachers’ effort and support them in their work
Why are teachers so important?
- Teachers educate children and help them become responsible and worthy members of society
- Teachers transfer knowledge to children that will remain for a lifetime and help them have a better future
- Teachers guide the children, discover their talents, encourage creativity, help them acquire working habits, teach them about discipline, obligations…
- Teachers open new horizons and worlds to their pupils
- Teachers are role model of proper, fair and polite behavior and they strengthen children’s character
- Teachers establish a relationship of mutual respect and trust with children. It is a model that children transfer outside the school
- Every teacher has the task to get children like being and going to school
Education of future generations is uncertain, until the best possible teacher is in every classroom.
In 1994, the United Nations (UNESCO) proclaimed October 5th as World Teachers’ Day, with the aim to emphasize the role of the teacher in children’s education and development, and to highlight principles and recommendations concerning the status of teachers.