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Empower teachers; give them the freedom to teach, UN urges on World Day

Kindergarten children sing songs with their teacher on 23 April, Turkey's Children's Day.,  2015. Photo: Tuba Coskun/UNIC Ankara

Kindergarten children sing songs with their teacher on 23 April, Turkey’s Children’s Day., 2015. Photo: Tuba Coskun/UNIC Ankara

Underscoring the critical important role teachers play in ensuring the future for every society, the United Nations today called for empowering educators with the freedom and support they need to undertake their vital mission.

“Being an empowered teacher means having access to high-quality training, fair wages, and continuous opportunities for professional development,” the heads of key UN agencies and programmes said today in a joint message on World Teachers’ Day.

Empowerment also means teachers having the freedom to support the development of national curricula, the professional autonomy to choose teaching methods and approaches and being able to teach in safety and security during times of political change, instability and conflict, they added.

The joint message was issued by Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Guy Ryder, the Director-General of International Labour Organization (ILO); Anthony Lake, the Executive-Director of UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP); and Fred van Leeuwen, the General-Secretary of Education International (a global federation representing organizations of teachers and other education employees).

The theme for this year’s commemoration is Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers.

Marked annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers – the primary reference framework that addresses teachers’ rights and responsibilities at the global scale.



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