Today, October 5th, millions of teachers and education workers will be joined by children, young people and parents across the globe to celebrate World Teachers' Day. They will pay tribute to the teaching profession and its unique role - and promote their union.
From the global economic crisis which destabilized many developed economies in the last year, to humanitarian disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti and floods in Pakistan, the role of teachers is vital to the social, economic and intellectual rebuilding of communities in which we all live and work.
Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of the global union representing 30 million education workers around the world, said. "Being a teacher means belonging to the most valuable profession. Wherever communities face hardship, teachers are immediately present on the frontline to help promote recovery. Sadly, in many countries, being a teacher also means being paid an unfair wage, being treated unfairly or harassed, and in some cases, living in danger of losing your life."
Despite these challenges, teachers continue giving to society by teaching and improving the life chances of millions of learners. As UNESCO confirms: 'Without teachers input to shape education reforms, recovery processes are not likely to achieve all their goals.'
At a time when the international community faces an unprecedented shortage of qualified teachers, when 10 million more teachers must be recruited and trained to achieve goals of quality education for every child, marking World Teachers' Day is a small step to pay homage to millions of extraordinary heroes in our global community.
In an official event in Paris today, teachers from Haiti, Lesotho, Mali, Laos, France and Israel will discuss the role of teachers in their societies.
In Uganda, the government has also declared 5 October a public holiday!