Monday, 28 November, 2022

World Teachers' Day and Some Thoughts

Emran Emon

The World Teachers' Day is observed every year on October 5.  The day is celebrated around the world to recognize the outstanding contribution of teachers to education and development. This day is very significant for teachers because on this day, teachers across the world are honored and awarded in recognition of their work.

How the Day came about

On October 5, 1966, the Intergovernmental Conference on the Status of Teachers was held in Paris, France. It was there that UNESCO and the International Labor Organization (ILO) signed some recommendations for teachers.  For the first time these consultations dealt with the rights, responsibilities of teachers and various aspects of the global teaching profession.  Education International (EI) and its 401 member organizations play a key role in celebrating the day. On the occasion of the day, EI selects a theme every year, which raises public awareness as well as reminds the contribution of the teaching profession.

The World Teacher's Day is celebrated in 100 countries of the world. The day is celebrated on different dates in many countries.  For example: it is celebrated on 5th September in India.  In Australia, the last Friday of October is celebrated as Teacher's Day.  If the last Friday falls on 31st October, then Teacher's Day is celebrated on 7th November.  Bhutan observes Teachers' Day on May 2, Indonesia on November 25, Malaysia on May 16, Iran on May 2, Iraq on March 1, Argentina on September 11, Brazil on October 15, China on September 10, Taiwan on September 28, Thailand on January 16, and Singapore on the first Friday of September.

The theme of this year's World Teachers' Day is "The transformation of education begins with teachers". This year's theme is very relevant to the present times. Teachers are the builders of the nation. And the proper development of education and the task of transforming education among the nations is the work of the teachers.  The important responsibility of building the future of the nation and the next generation is in the hands of the teachers.  And for this teachers should be skilled and qualified.

As education is the backbone of a nation, teachers are the backbone of education. But teachers are seen to face different problems at different times. If the teachers remain in trouble, the quality of education and the desired success will not be possible.

Some ideas can be shared in this regard

First of all, the overall safety of the teaching profession must be ensured. Due to the lack of overall security in this profession, many talented people do not want to come to the teaching profession and if this continues, they will not want to come in the future. The time has come to ensure the overall safety of this profession. In order for teachers to face any situation in the future, the overall security of the profession should be ensured with various insurances, special loan assistance. According to the institution, the salaries of the teachers should be specified and controlled centrally. It should be considered that the teachers are satisfied with the salary and other facilities.  Their pay criteria should be standardized considering life and livelihood over time.  It can be seen that even though teaching is an important profession for the country, the talented people of the country do not want to come this profession because there is no overall security in this profession like other professions.  But talented people were supposed to come more in this profession. And it would benefit the country and nation.  Although teaching is called a great profession, it is actually a much neglected profession.  There is no overall security in this profession like other professions.  For this reason, talented people do not want to come to this profession.  Therefore, the overall safety of this profession is now the demand of the time.

Education is the best investment of time.  There is no substitute for investment in education for sustainable development or long-lasting development. India's Nobel laureate educationist Kailash Satyarthi says that if you invest 1 dollar in education, you can get 15 times return in the next 20 years. As a result, the interest of talented people in teaching profession should be increased by increasing the investment in education.  Interested students should be invited to come to the profession through transparent and up-to-date assessment.

Improving the skills of teachers is now a major challenge in the development of education. The world is constantly changing due to Information Technology.  Along with that, the teachers have to change constantly.  In this regard, we have noticed how backward our teachers are after the corona pandemic came to the country.  A teacher today prepares students to meet the opportunities and challenges of the next decade.  As a result, modern and world-class training, symposiums and workshops should be arranged for the development of teachers' skills.  Every institution should give importance to the self-development of teachers. Teachers should develop international standards.

Effective steps should be taken to solve teachers’ crisis and teachers’ promotion. It can be seen that there is a shortage of teachers in various educational institutions. Promotion is very late in government secondary schools. Hundreds of Head Teacher posts are lying vacant.  But there is no promotion.  If Assistant Headmasters are promoted as Headmasters, senior teachers will get promotion to the post of Assistant Headmasters.  Promotion will speed up the work.  Moreover, to eliminate the complexity of selection grade, time scale, and timely promotion should also be worked out.  The primary level of education is the foundation of students. If the teachers at this level are qualified and skilled, then the foundation of the students will be strong.  A strong generation will build up. For this, subject-based teachers should be appointed at the primary level. And now it is a big challenge to improve the quality of education.

Teachers should be recognized for their work. Recognition serves as a very important motivation in teaching. As a result teachers have to make arrangements to recognize each work.  Lately, many institutions recognize the work of teachers. For example: At the end of the year 'Best Teacher' award is given.  This year, the government has awarded teachers under the title 'Leadership in Crisis' under the initiative of A2I and Grameenphone. Teachers need to be recognized by taking evaluations from students about the classes. It will be beneficial for all teachers, students and institutions.

Another thing to talk about on Teacher's Day is to celebrate the day officially.  Many official days are observed in our country.  Students along with teachers have to be present in the celebration of these days.  But this very important day for teachers is not celebrated officially.  The teachers must have felt honored if this day is officially observed, which would have served as a great incentive for them. I hope, the matter will come to the attention of the concerned authorities and they will think about it.

Teaching is a great and important profession. The contribution of teachers in nation building is undeniable. But the recent incidents of attacks and insults on teachers make us sad.  Apart from this, the moral and ideological deviation of teachers in various fields also pains us equally.  We should not forget that without the proper evaluation of the teaching profession and the quality improvement of teachers, the overall development of education and the development of a prosperous Bangladesh is not possible.


The writer is a researcher, journalist and columnist.

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