World Teachers Day celebrates teachers' 'transformational' role

Today, World Teachers Day, highlights the transformational role that teachers play in every community around the world as the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers declared exactly 50 years ago.

Australia marks World Teachers Day on October 28. 

At a ceremony in New York marking the 50th anniversary of the historic Recommendation, AEU Federal Secretary and Education International (EI) President  Susan Hopgood spoke of “how essential our schools are to the public good. To our towns, cities, and countries, they are the source of our collective values. They are the engines of our democratic principles. And now is the time that we must reinvest our efforts and our financial resources to make public education the first and strongest option for our children and for our societies.”

Governments must know that investment in public education cannot be underestimated and must be increased rather than be privatised by corporate actors, EI said.

“The Recommendation is far more than the text printed on the page, greater than the sum of its parts. It first of all affirms the transformational role that teachers play in the lives of children, their families and in their communities,” EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen said.

He quoted from the Recommendation to reassert its recognition of “the essential role of teachers in educational advancement and the importance of their contribution to the development of man and modern society”.

“Being a teacher is about moral purpose; about a commitment to making a positive difference in young people’s lives. And that commitment is on full display every day around the world,” Mr van Leeuwen said.

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