World Teachers' Day 2019
Since 1994, World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated annually on October 5th. This celebration draws attention to the contributions of teachers in educating their communities and developing a more inclusive and sustainable society.
This year, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme, “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.” The day provides the opportunity to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, to take stock of achievements, and to address some of the central issues for attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), over 69 million teachers will have to be recruited by 2030 for primary and secondary education to meet the SDG 4 education targets.
UNESCO’s World Teachers’ Day Activities
This year, in addition to the official opening ceremony, the celebration of World Teachers’ Day will be marked by two panel discussions at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in collaboration with the convening partners, including UNICEF, UNDP, the International Labour Organization and Education International.
The panel discussions will focus on:
Panel I - How to attract young people to the teaching profession
Panel II - How to retain young and novice teachers to the profession
For more information on UNESCO’s activities to mark World Teachers' Day, visit here.
UNESCO-UNEVOC’s World Teachers’ Day Activities
With the intention of putting the spotlight on the role and achievements of vocational teachers who are adapting, innovating and inspiring others, this year UNESCO – UNEVOC is supporting the celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2019 through the following activities:
Online campaign via social media: we will be sharing stories of inspirational TVET teachers and trainers from within the UNEVOC network using #WorldTeachersDay. UNEVOC Centres and our partners are welcome to join us on social media in sharing inspirational stories of vocational teachers and trainers.
Virtual conference on Future of TVET teaching & learning October 7–14, 2019: This virtual conference seeks to gather knowledge, insights, experiences and promising practices from the international TVET community on the future of TVET teaching and learning in the context of global disruptions and a rapidly changing labour market.
Evolving role of TVET teachers and trainers
UNESCO-UNEVOC recognizes both the qualitative and quantitative gaps and the evolving role of TVET teachers and trainers, especially young teachers, in developing the skills of the future workforce.
The early twenty-first century is not an easy time to be a TVET teacher. Global disruptions such as climate change, digitalization, industry 4.0, demographics and migration are reshaping work and the labour market. Machines and algorithms in the workplace are expected to create 133 million new roles, but cause 75 million jobs to be displaced by 2022 (Forbes 2018). The resulting transformations, especially the emergence of new job roles, call for learners to continuously upgrade their knowledge, skills and competencies in line with evolving labour market needs, which in turn requires flexible and responsive TVET programmes with up-to-date curricula and state-of-the-art teaching and training methods (both theoretical and practical).
New work demands also call for updated education and skilling paradigms, thereby creating an urgent need for flexible and responsive TVET programmes with continuously evolving curricula. The education systems in the future will have to respond to these changes by offering teachers a mix of skills that enhance their employability for this dynamic new world of work. However, despite the expansion of support mechanisms for TVET teaching staff in many countries – specifically concerning new pedagogies, curricula and technologies – challenges persist in ensuring that TVET teachers and trainers possess future-oriented competencies that they can pass on to students.
We asked senior experts from institutions working on building capacities of teachers and trainers to share their experiences about the growing skills gaps, challenges and opportunities, especially in engaging young teachers and trainers. All of them agreed that TVET teachers are the strongest link in the delivery of quality vocational training. However, their role in strengthening vocational training is often neglected. There must be a concerted effort to close infrastructure, investment and capacity gaps to ensure a solid career path for TVET teachers and trainers.
Ms. Carolin Bansbach, Head of Section, Social, Health & Education, GIZ
“Challenges and transformations, both in the world of work and learning, are very real. Attracting, recruiting and keeping young teachers and trainers in the profession is crucial for enhancing the quality of TVET. In our experience, offering young vocational teachers adequate opportunities for professional training, equipping them with the 21st century teaching and/or facilitating skills and ensuring that they have easy access to continuous professional development not only improves the teaching – learning outcomes, but also improves people’s social and economic lives.”
Mr. Joseph Nsengimana, Director, African Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT, Mastercard Foundation
“In this fast-changing world of the 21st century, the critical role of a teacher as a facilitator of learning is increasingly complex and important. Teachers must adequately prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s work. Optimal learning outcomes will not be achieved by traditional teaching in isolation. Teachers must be proactive in establishing linkages with the relevant industries to ensure content is current and demand-driven. It will require a blended approach to teaching and learning, including the strategic use of technology in the classroom and outside of the classroom as well as the continuous development of teachers.
If society aspires to equip the youth with the necessary skills to transition from learners to becoming successful entrepreneurs or obtaining meaningful employment, the investment in teachers should be highly prioritized in global and national development agendas!”
Ms. Maud Seghers, Senior Education Advisor, TVET and Environment, The Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB)
“In these times of youthful demographics and rapid technological changes, the world needs more and better TVET teachers. Attracting and keeping teachers is more than key to efforts to improve the quality and relevance of TVET. These teachers will need to be better qualified, better rewarded and better supported than is currently the case. In our experience, great school leaders, opportunities for collaborative learning among TVET teachers and partnerships with enterprises for continuous professional development are strong motivators. Especially when the bigger picture – a well-resourced and well-governed TVET system – also looks attractive.”
My story: TVET teachers and trainers from UNEVOC Centres share their insights
Liu Chang, Teacher, Zhejiang Technical Institute of Economics, China
“Emphasize the importance of the practice and application of knowledge to students. Always strike a balance between theoretical and practical.”
Four years ago, I started teaching an interpreting and translation course at the institute. I dedicated myself to the career of teaching and training interpreting skills and technique, in order to help people to strength their inter-cultural communicative competences.
I intend to equip students with interpreting skills, train them to deal with varied, complicated and even unexpected situations in inter-cultural communication, and stimulate their humanity and service awareness as human interpreters. For the future, I plan to extend the scope of interpreting teaching by inviting experts in industry to join the building of an online teaching resource database for this course.
Nowadays, students are afraid to confront the growing sector of artificial intelligence (AI) because they feel insecure about their future as translators and interpreters. This is the reason why we adopted AI translation machines in my class. By using this technology driven method, we make comparisons between human interpreting and machine interpreting. We are able to demonstrate to students the limits of technology. We reassured students of the irreplaceable nature of human interpreters, and guide them towards forming a rational view on the significance of AI.
My classroom teaching method uses a variety of teaching materials, expert talks and live instruction with foreign teachers and students’ performance evaluation. Most students attending my class have seen their inter-cultural communicative competence improved. Each year, the majority of students pass the accreditation test for translators and interpreters and acquire their qualification certificates.
Dilin Sathyanath, Vocational Teacher, India
“Vocational education and training makes people self-reliant. A vocational teacher should always introduce the concept of entrepreneurship and emphasize the dignity of labour.”
I opted to be a vocational teacher as it allows me to interact with students and help them prepare for a career and for life. For me, teaching is a process in which the personality of the teacher acts upon the personality of the students to invoke behavioural change. As a vocational teacher with the Department of Vocational Higher Secondary Education in Kerala, India, I am interested in various branches of agriculture such as nursery management, ornamental gardening, plant protection, floriculture etc.
‘Hands on learning’ is missing in most vocational training programmes, so I try to implement new teaching strategies, entrepreneurial learning and innovative methods to make the curriculum interesting. Our “Friday Market” initiative is one such venture where learners get the opportunity to sell various agricultural products that they have grown. It helps them hone their skills and nurtures the true spirit of entrepreneurship in students.
To ensure that the learner’s needs are reflected in curricula design, I regularly contribute to the development of new vocational curricula and work as a resource person for training of teachers and trainers.
In 2007, my institute Tagore Vidyanikethan received the national award for the best vocational educational institution in Kerala, which was a great honour for us and the community. The real reward, however, is my student’s success and their desire to pursue a career in agriculture and related fields.
Reyhaneh Taebnia, Vocational Teacher, ITC, Iran
“A confident, courageous and respectful instructor encourages excellence from learners. He/she does not only draw a picture of the trainees’ future but also shows them a way to achieve it. A vocational teacher’s biggest reward is empowering students to excel in their future profession.”
Being a vocational instructor in a non-traditional field comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Currently I am a PhD student in Agriculture-Herbal Plants and work with the Iran Technical and Vocational Training Organization (Iran TVTO) as an instructor. For more than 8 years, I have been teaching in the field of agriculture in rural areas, especially about medical herbs. I opted to be a vocational instructor because I believe that sustainable agriculture is the future and the world needs more farmers. The main challenge is to make the students work ready.
To ensure that the learners can understand the demands of the labour market, I have incorporated several practical elements in my training. We regularly invite experts, successful entrepreneurs as guest speakers and organize visits to small and medium enterprises.
My learning method is to make learning more accessible to each learner. To keep the trainees engaged we use several tools and methods so the trainees can learn both technical and life skills.
My goal is to strengthen the entrepreneurial attitude whilst promoting digital and soft skills of the trainees. Strengthening ties with enterprises better prepares students for a world beyond the classroom. I also wish to help rural people increase their values via technical and vocational education and training.
Sara Motta, Vocational Teacher, Cometa Formazione, Italy
“Through our students, we discover day by day who we are and what we are meant to do.”
I am a vocational tutor at Cometa Formazione, specialized in supporting dropouts in their new beginning in a VET course. I have been teaching in high schools for more than 5 years. My passion for teaching grew day by day with the desire to work with young people, which led me to start a Bachelor's in Educational Science.
At the Cometa vocational school, I work with more than 40 school drops outs every year in their educational and personal journey, planning and monitoring their internship and overseeing their transition to the job market.
I work with my students through a personalized programme. My main focus is to work with dropout students and my teaching method is based on a personalized approach with every student and an individualization of their own educational pathways. My key message is strictly connected to my personal journey: mistakes are not a measure of your value. I continue to repeat this to my students: "if you have failed before, stand up, because that failure is a step to begin again".
Working with students enriches my life too. Thanks to these situations, it makes me realize how important it is to support the student’s parents, in order to have a positive impact on all aspects of their lives.
Kevin Coke, Vocational Teacher, University of Technology, Jamaica
““I would like to encourage all young teachers to be committed to TVET, to LIVE, LOVE and SERVE their students and the TVET profession with pride, and to transfer inspiration and positive attitudes and values to their charges at all times. Remember, good teachers teach, even when not teaching!”
I am a vocational teacher of Electrical & Electronics Technology, Mechanical Technology and Technical Drawing. I taught for two years as a pre-trained teacher, and for the past six years as a trained TVET teacher at the Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay. My focus is to work with trainees and help them appreciate the importance of TVET in nation building.
I decided to become a vocational teacher as it gives me the opportunity to motivate youth to pursue careers in technical and vocational training. The most important aspect of it is to inspire students to see TVET as a dignified career. I love the idea of working with students to bring their creative ideas to life, especially through application of TVET in science and mathematics.
To pursue this motivation, I have created The Engineering Club at the school, which gives the students the opportunity to innovate products and technical processes, while preparing them for employment, entrepreneurship, or further studies. My teaching style is “Do it yourself”. As such, students have purchased their own 3D printers and started printing their own designs as a small business endeavour. Students have also purchased their own Arduino Kits, and build their own robotics circuits.
My future plan is to become a Master Teacher, and to get certified in Welding. I am also preparing myself to become a licensed Electrician, and I am willing to continue studying and learning to be able to make an even greater contribution to TVET in Jamaica.
Daniel Uchenna Chukwu, TVET Teacher, CETVETAR, Nigeria
“Every teacher must strive for the best as it is only what we have that we can give. Let us give the best of our skills and knowledge.”
I work with CETVETAR at the Department of Industrial Technical Education at the University of Nigeria. I chose teaching over business because of the practical elements of the profession.
As a young teacher, I have always looked for opportunities to inspire young teachers to understand that Building/Woodwork is beyond the classroom. I am constantly looking for sources of inspiration and encouraging students to gain new skills. My motto is to balance theory and practice in the classroom.
I want to create an experience for the students that keeps them motivated towards the profession. I have started a small workshop which attracts jobs from the local community and gives students a fair chance of learning and developing entrepreneurial skills. This is also a chance for students to learn by doing. They work in teams such that two or three students who are trained work together to deliver the projects. Many students work together, outside school hours, to repair and produce items for the locals at a small fee.
I try to instill in students that there are livelihood opportunities in becoming a builder. My success is when my students succeed.
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