World Teachers’ Day celebrates the work of educators

Teachers and learning

The work done every day by educators on every continent is being celebrated today on World Teachers’ Day.

More than 100 countries recognise this special day, which is held to honour teachers and raise awareness of their vital role in the development of children.

But a new study released today by UNESCO and the Education For All Global Monitoring Report reveals that four million extra teachers are needed to achieve the goal of every child getting a primary education by 2015 and ensure there are no more than 40 pupils per teacher. At least 93 countries have a severe shortage of teachers.

Education International, which represents about 30 million education employees in 170 countries, has marked World Teachers’ Day by launching a new documentary film. One Day in the Life of a Teacher follows educators from across the world – including Argentina, Togo, India and Belgium – to show what their everyday lives are like. You can watch the video in the player below:

EI said: “These teachers’ voices are a strong reminder of the fact that quality education remains the basis for a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous future, the basis of a world in which education is a right and everyone has equal opportunities to participate in quality education.”

The organisation is also asking its members to email, text or tweet messages of support for quality education directly to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the website

Teach For All – the global network of social enterprises that enlists future leaders to help shape education – has been marking World Teachers’ Day by highlighting the impact they have on the lives of children. It says: “We will be celebrating the fundamental power of education: to promote peace and tolerance, to increase gender equity, to open doors of opportunity, and to ensure brighter futures for all children.”

Teach For All has asked people to share its image-rich tweets, such as the one below:

The Global Teacher Prize is marking World Teachers’ Day by asking people to nominate great educators for the $1 million award. There are just seven days left for nominations for the prize, which is awarded by the Varkey GEMS Foundation.

The winner will be chosen by the prominent Global #TeacherPrize Academy made up of head teachers, educational experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors and scientists from around the world.

The criteria used for judging include achievements in the classroom and wider community, using innovative practices, preparing children to be global citizens and contributing to public debates on raising the bar for the teaching profession.

The new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) on teacher shortages shows that, without concerted efforts to address the issue, millions of children will continue to be deprived of an education for decades.

It adds: “The 2015 deadline for achieving universal primary education will not be met based on current projections, as 58 million children are still out of school. If the goalposts shift to the newly proposed deadline of 2030, more than 27 million teachers would need to be hired, 24 million of whom would be to compensate for attrition.

“Today, at least 93 countries have an acute shortage of teachers. According to UIS projections, 28 (or 30%) of these countries will still not have enough teachers in classrooms by 2030.”

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