Teaching in Freedom, theme of 2017 World Teachers’ Day


Paris: On World Teachers’ Day, celebrated yearly on 5 October, UNESCO will focus on the professors, teachers, researchers and others who otherwise provide educational services to students at institutions of higher learning. The work of these educators will be the the subject of a daylong series of seminars at the Organization’s Headquarters (Room II, starting at 10 am).

Twenty years after the adoption of the 1997 Recommendations concerning the status of higher education personnel, UNESCO will bring together teachers, trainers, decision-makers, experts and researchers from all over the world to examine the higher education landscape worldwide.

As well as taking stock of higher education reforms around the world, the conference will feature two panel discussions: on challenges in academic freedom and institutional autonomy (11.15am to 12.30 pm) and higher education’s responses to new demands for quality, inclusion and equity (2-4.30 pm).

“Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers” is the theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day, celebrated around the world since 1994. The empowerment of teachers emerged as a priority when the United Nations adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG4).

It requires teachers to enjoy professional independence, freedom and the tools needed to deliver quality education, which must take into account learners’ circumstances, needs and expectations.

But crises, conflicts, and insecurity, alongside rising intolerance and discrimination, as well as budgetary restrictions are some of the factors affecting teachers in much of the world, undermining both their freedom and empowerment.

The international community undertook to provide universal primary and secondary education by 2030, and it is estimated that countries will need to recruit 68,8 million primary and secondary education teachers to make this target (source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics).