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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.

In 2019, World Teachers’ Day celebrated teachers with the theme, “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.” The day provided 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

The celebration of World Teachers’ Day was 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 focused 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, UNESCO – UNEVOC supported the celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2019 through the following activities:

Online campaign via social media:Stories of inspirational TVET teachers and trainers from within the UNEVOC network using #WorldTeachersDay.

Virtual conference on Future of TVET teaching & learning October 7–14, 2019: This virtual conference gathered 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.

Experts speak

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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!”

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.”

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