Today is World Teachers' Day in Australia – an ideal opportunity to remember that trained and qualified teachers are a fundamental part of every child’s right to a comprehensive education.
The theme for World Teachers' Day 2018 is “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher.” This phrase recognises the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is a reminder that the right to education cannot be realised without trained and qualified teachers.
One of the biggest challenges to ensuring that all children have access to education is the continued global shortage of teachers. There are currently an estimated 264 million children and youth around the world who do not attend school.
According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, almost 69 million new teachers are required to achieve universal primary and secondary education by the target date of 2030. This ‘teacher gap’ is more pronounced among vulnerable populations – girls, children with disabilities, refugee and migrant children, and poor children living in rural or remote areas.
More than 100 countries commemorate World Teachers' Day. However, it is not only a rallying call to push for global access to education for all children. World Teachers' Day is also an opportunity to recognise Australia’s excellent public school system, and to thank the hundreds of thousands of dedicated and talented school teachers which make our public schools so successful.
Public school teachers make a positive difference every day in their schools, in their students, and in the community. They play an essential role in developing and growing the minds, hearts and bodies of our children.
There are many ways to celebrate World Teachers' Day. Many schools will honour teachers during assembly, hold a morning tea, or work with parent and community groups to acknowledge teachers.
However it does not need to be an organised activity. If you see your child’s teacher today, why not mark World Teacher’s Day by thanking them for their part in helping your child develop?
The Australian Education Union would like to thank all teachers across the country for the essential work they do each day to support our children and prepare them for a life of success, achievement and happiness.