World Teachers’ Day 2021 Emphasizes Teachers’ Role as Essential to Effective COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery

Attending lecture at primary school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 08 June 2019

World Teachers’ Day is a globally recognized observance day that occurs each year on 5 October. While the day annually focuses on the importance of the teaching profession, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased emphasis on the crucial role that teachers play in ensuring global society recovers in a sustainable way.

UNESCO leads the call for supporting teachers during the recovery from the pandemic through the theme of “Teachers at the heart of education recovery.” Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Ms Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and Mr David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International, released a joint statement and call to action for prioritizing educators:

On World Teachers’ Day, we are not only celebrating every teacher. We are calling on countries to invest in them and prioritize them in global education recovery efforts so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher. Let’s stand with our teachers!

Teachers’ role in the pandemic recovery is further summarized in a fact sheet coauthored by the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. The fact sheet reminds stakeholders of the Sustainable Development Goal 4.c, which focuses on increasing the supply of qualified teachers in developing countries, and analyzes the role of teachers in the pandemic recovery from several lenses, including:

  • Health and well-being in regard to vaccine access and distribution
  • Workforce demands and shortages
  • Supporting teachers in hybrid and remote teaching practices
  • Continued education and training for teachers
  • And more.

Continued education and training are critical for teachers worldwide, particularly in vulnerable and conflict-affected areas. It is also one of several themes of the short film We Teach Here, a nine-minute vlog-style video capturing the efforts of three South Sudanese teachers in refugee camps in Gambella, Ethiopia. “We Teach Here” was produced by the International Institute for Educational Planning – UNESCO and Education Development Trust.

Childhood Education International wholeheartedly agrees that teachers are essential to recovering from the pandemic. We also concur that their place in achieving a sustainable, equitable world is just as important, and encourage everyone to learn more about the important role teachers play in our society.

More events and resources related to World Teachers’ Day 2021: