When teachers are in the front line

Each year, World Teachers’ Day on October 5 is an opportunity to pay homage to teachers and the vital role they play in efforts to reach global education goals. This year the celebrations highlight teachers’ contribution to recovery from crises of all kinds – including violent conflict, whose interaction with education we will be examining in the forthcoming 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

In the immediate wake of war, education contributes directly to stability and recovery. It is crucial to rebuild the teaching force (and teacher payroll systems), both to provide children with an education and to rebuild confidence in the state by giving a visible signal that the state is doing its job. To do this quickly requires flexible approaches to recruitment and training of teachers ­– who have often been victims of violence (including in the schools they were teaching in). But it is possible – as experience in southern Sudan shows.

In the 2011 GMR we’ll also be looking at the ways in which teachers can promote peacebuilding by teaching good citizenship skills.

To mark World Teachers’ Day, UNESCO has invited representatives of major international organizations and teachers from different part of the world to its Paris headquarters to speak about teachers’ role in recovery from conflicts, natural disasters, economic crises, HIV/AIDS and violence in schools.

A photographic exhibition, A Tribute to Teachers, will also be launched on October 5 and remain on view at UNESCO headquarters until 19 November.  The exhibition brings together portraits that embody the dedication of teachers around the globe in the most trying of circumstances.


1 comment

  1. Re:
    My original post of 10/24/10

    This recent post submitted by EFA editor on October 1 includes the statement:
    “In the immediate wake of war, education contributes directly to stability and recovery. ”
    I have lived and taught in what was formerly Czechoslovakia just after the “Velvet Revolution.” Oppressed, over run and dominated by the Russians and Nazis left the educational system in ruins, teachers at all levels demoralized, and with little hope for change.
    Now some 20 plus years later I am reading comments from Czech politicians and academics that the educational system must be revitalized beginning with the recruitment of new teachers and updating the skills and knowledge of existing ones.
    In a time of fiscal austerity educators are afraid that it will be the same old “promises that are never fulfilled.”
    The issue is not “that it needs to be done” but “who has the will, the power and the ability to make it happen.

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