Message from the Heads of UNESCO, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO and Education International on the occasion of World Teachers Day, 5 October 2012

3 October 2012

On this World Teachers Day, we take a stand for teachers. Teachers are the foundation of good schools, and good schools are the pillars of healthy and democratic communities.

Teachers are the keys to reaching the Education for All goals.

An estimated 1.7 million more teacher positions are required to reach the goals of Universal Primary Education by 2015. As we recruit new teachers, we must continue to improve the quality of teaching and learning. Governments are urged to provide teachers with access to training opportunities and continued professional development, based on appropriate qualifications. Attracting committed and diverse teachers requires environments that value professional autonomy and equality. Teachers need to be supported in fulfilling their responsibilities to students, and their voices must be listened to by school leaders, education systems and public authorities. Teachers salaries must be set objectively and fairly, such that remuneration is commensurate with the importance of the profession and the qualifications and responsibilities of individual teachers.

Teachers, in turn, must be accountable to their students and communities. The teaching profession is encouraged to design and implement teacher codes of conduct, based on the highest ethical and professional standards, and to be oriented around the goal of teaching all students effectively and equally.

This World Teachers Day is an opportunity to honour the women and men who inspire, challenge and nurture us. On this day, we call for the creation of supportive teaching environments, adequate teacher training and safeguards for the rights of teachers. We must break the vicious cycle of declining professional conditions for teachers in order to improve the quality of learning for all. The world expects a lot from teachers they, in turn, are right to expect as much from us. This World Teachers Day is an opportunity to take a stand for all teachers.

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