Since World Teachers' Day's inception on October 5, 1994, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Education International have worked to promote international standards for teaching. This year's theme in celebrating the cause is "teachers for gender equality."
World Teachers' Day serves as a reminder for the goals of Education For All and the UN's Millenium Development Goals. Education For All aims to ensure that all children have access to free and comprehensive primary education, among other targets. Providing universal primary education is a part of eight provisions in the Millenium Development Goals.
If we want to give equal opportunities to our daughters and sons to realize their full potential and claim their rights, we must devise policies and strategies that attract and motivate capable women and men to teach, while also enabling them to create gender-equal learning environments. More and better education for all requires good teachers and incentives to encourage male and female teachers into all areas and levels of teaching. This will ensure that boys and girls have appropriate role models throughout their schooling.
The organizations also address the increasingly feminized teaching profession that has also seen a deterioration of pay, status and working conditions.
In recognition of World Teachers' Day and to take a look at the issues facing teachers and education both within and beyond our country, UNICEF’s podcast moderator Femi Oke chatted with a high school teacher from Afghanistan, a school administrator from Liberia and a professor from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in America. Listen to the full podcast on UNICEF's website.
Below, a first-person account by a female teacher in Kandahar, Afghanistan on living under Taliban rule, how she got her education, and the future prospects for her country.