World Teachers’ Day: Discussing the challenges teachers faced during the pandemic

Teachers are one of the most influential and powerful forces for equity, access and quality in education, and are key to sustainable development. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures have adversely impacted them and the global education systems.

In Nepal, to celebrate this year’s World Teachers’ Day, UNESCO joined forces with the Forum for Women Teachers to organize a webinar on 5 October 2021. The webinar aimed to showcase the impact of the pandemic on the teaching profession, highlighting the tireless and innovative efforts of teachers during this challenging situation. More than 175 participants attended the event, including teachers, headteachers, parents and students from 19 districts representing all the seven provinces of the country. The webinar provided an opportunity for them to share their struggles, as well as the strategies they adopted to continue providing education throughout the pandemic.

UNESCO Representative to Nepal Michael Croft wished the participants a happy teacher’s day in his video message to them.

Dr Balaram Timalsina from UNESCO praised the efforts of teachers during the pandemic.  “Despite many challenges, teachers have been actively providing education through various media and reaching out to the students to continue their education during the pandemic. Therefore, the Government of Nepal should address the issues teachers have faced,” he said.

Ram Prasad Thapaliya, Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology remarked, “The Government will initiate policies and rules to address the issues and challenges faced by teachers during the pandemic.”

Sharing the outlines of the ICT in the Education Master Plan II (2021-26), Dr Hari Lamsal, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, highlighted the basic digital skills teachers of the 21st century require.

In the webinar, teachers shared their experiences about how the learning was continued during the pandemic. Headteacher Gita Kafle explained the innovative activities implemented during the pandemic and shared that teachers are actively involved in continuing to promote learning even during school closures.

This event was supported by UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme, which is funded by Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

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