World Teachers' Day

World Teachers’ Day


With more than 63 million teachers affected by COVID-19 crisis, UNESCO calls for increased investment in their support for resumption of learning.

The 2020 edition of World Teachers’ Day, October 5, which highlights their essential role in supporting learners during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights the need for improved training, professional development and teacher leadership skills to reduce learning gaps and foster inclusive education at all levels, during and after recovery.

This day is marked by an online conference dedicated to the theme of the 2020 edition of World Teachers’ Day, “Teachers: leaders in times of crisis and shapers of the future”, as well as by the presentation of the Prize UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum honoring exemplary practices and performance to improve teacher effectiveness in programs implemented in Brazil, Egypt and Portugal. It kicks off a week of world-class online events, which will address all aspects and levels of education from a lifelong learning perspective.

Without emergency measures and increased investment, the learning crisis could turn into a rout.

“Without emergency measures and without increased investments, the learning crisis could turn into a rout,” warn UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, UNICEF Director-General Henrietta Fore, Director General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, and the Secretary-General of Education International, David Edwards. They call in a joint declaration to protect education funding, invest in quality initial training for teachers and continue professional training for teachers. “If we are to build their resilience in times of crisis, all teachers must be provided with the digital and pedagogical skills to teach at a distance, online and using blended or blended learning approaches, regardless of the technological environment they have, ”they say.

This statement acknowledges the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, which has affected more than 63 million teachers, exposed the weaknesses of many education systems and exacerbated inequalities.

According to a survey carried out jointly by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank on responses to COVID-19, only half of the countries covered by the survey offered their teachers additional training in teaching remotely, and less than a third offered them psychosocial support to help them manage this crisis.

Meanwhile, data recently released by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the International Task Force on Teachers and the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM) show that 81% of primary teachers and 86% of secondary school teachers have the minimum required qualifications, with large regional variations. Many teachers are therefore ill-prepared to face the challenges they face.

In sub-Saharan Africa, only 65% of primary school teachers and 51% of secondary school teachers meet the minimum qualifications, rising to 74% and 77% respectively in South Asia. Globally, an estimated 69 million teachers would be needed to achieve universal primary education by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (over 24 million for primary and 44 million million for secondary education), i.e. a workforce close to the entire teaching force of primary and secondary cycles in 2019.

Meanwhile, with the risk of growing learning inequalities, a new UNESCO policy paper released on October 5 shows that less than two-thirds of countries train their teachers for inclusion. Developed by GEM and the International Task Force on Teachers, this document indicates that only about four in ten countries address inclusive education in their legislation and policies; it calls for inclusion in all teacher training programs.

On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize, which is supported by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, aims to improve the effectiveness of the teaching and learning. It will be awarded to the following programs:

On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize, which is supported by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates, aims to improve the effectiveness of the teaching and learning. It will be awarded to the following programs:

The Escolas Conectadas (Connected Schools) platform of the Telefónica Vivo Foundation, launched in 2015 to promote the openness of educators to digital culture and encourage the acquisition of 21st century skills among students. In 2019, the 38 distance education courses it offers benefited 65,000 educators from all regions of Brazil.

The School Transformation Journey program of the Educate Me Foundation, which is implemented over three years and which aims to develop the capacities of educators to become specialists in 21st century learning, by focusing on emphasis on a culture of autonomy. To date, this program has benefited 6,000 educators from 430 public educational institutions in seven governorates of Egypt.

The Apps for Good program, implemented since 2015 by the Center for Digital Inclusion of Portugal, which encourages students and teachers to develop applications for smartphones or tablets, thus making them discover the potential of technologies to transform their communities. Over the past six years, 13,080 students and 1,133 teachers from 448 schools have participated in this program and developed more than 1,000 technological solutions.

Celebrated every year on October 5 since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the signing of the ILO / UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers of 1966. This Recommendation sets benchmarks for the rights and responsibilities of teachers. teachers as well as the standards setting their initial and continuing training, recruitment, employment and teaching and learning conditions. The Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, adopted in 1997, supplements the 1966 Recommendation to include higher education research and teaching personnel.

With the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education and the specific target (SDG 4.c) which recognizes the key role of teachers in the achievement of the Education 2030 Agenda, the Day Teachers’ World has become an opportunity to celebrate progress and reflect on how to overcome the remaining challenges in advancing the teaching profession.

World Teachers’ Day is jointly organized by UNICEF, the International Labor Organization and Education International.


“During this crisis, teachers once again demonstrated great qualities of leadership and innovation, ensuring #PedagogicalContinuity and leaving no student behind. All over the world, they worked individually and collectively to find solutions and create new learning environments for their students to ensure the continuation of education. Their advice on plans to reopen schools and the support they provide to students as they return to school. school is just as important. ”

Joint statement by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labor Organization, Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and David Edwards, Secretary-General of the International education, on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2020.


The 2020 edition will be themed “Teachers: leaders in times of crisis and shapers of the future”. This day will be an opportunity to put the teaching profession in the spotlight around the world, take stock of progress and draw attention to the voice of teachers, who are at the center of efforts to achieve global education target: leaving no one behind.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the challenges facing already saturated education systems around the world. It is no exaggeration to say that the world is at a crossroads and that we must, now more than ever, work with teachers to protect the right to education and to apply it in the new context created. by the pandemic.

The leadership of teachers in crisis responses is not only a topical issue, it is essential as they have contributed to distance education, to help vulnerable groups, to reopen schools and reduce learning gaps. Discussions on World Teachers’ Day will also address the role of teachers in building resilience and shaping the future of education and the teaching profession.

This year, given the current situation, World Teachers’ Day celebrations will take place online. In addition to the UNESCO-Hamdan Prize opening and award ceremonies, which will take place on October 5, and the closing ceremony, which will take place on October 12, a series of national, regional and global events will be organized throughout the year. throughout the week.

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