World Teachers' Day is observed on 5 October in more than 100 countries in the world. The day focuses on mobilising support for teachers and ensuring that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers. Before 5 October was selected as World Teachers' Day, Teachers' Day had been celebrated in different countries in different times, especially to pay homage to the contribution of teachers in their respective countries. Still today, various countries celebrate teachers' day to celebrate contribution of local educators or an important milestone in education. For example, in Argentina, since 1915, the nation has been celebrating Teachers Day on 11 September when they commemorate Domingo Faustino Sarmiento's death. And in Turkey 24 November is celebrated as Teachers Day, for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk stated 'the new generation will be created by teachers' and in subcontinent, especially in India, the Day is celebrated on 5 September on the birth day of Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, a philosopher and later president. On October 5, 1994, the first World Teachers Day was held inaugurated by UNESCO.
However, the Day allows students, parents, guardians and community members to show their appreciation for teachers and the positive impact they make on society. The theme of the day for 2015 is 'Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies' aiming to raise awareness of the key role teachers play in sustainability of education and development of knowledge, values and ethics. According to UNESCO, World Teachers Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development. Teacher empowerment should entail the provision of decent working conditions, well-resourced, safe and sound working environment, trust, professional autonomy, academic freedom, high quality initial training and continuous professional development, well-balanced salary and facilities among
Where education workers are facing precarious working conditions, are pressured by stringent standardisation regimes, have no freedom to exercise their profession and face a low status in society, the provision of high quality education and its contribution to sustainable development remains a major challenge. It is time for educators around the world to stand together for the profession and call on governments to take concrete measures to empower teachers for building sustainable societies. Taking place soon after the adoption of the new sustainable development framework, this year's World Teachers Day is also an opportunity to call on governments to implement the new education goal and separate pay scale and commission and all of its targets by investing in teacher.
In this Day various events are arranged in countries around the world except for Bangladesh. These include celebrating the honour towards teachers in general. It is also a shame for us and our country that we aren't able to arrange any programme to respect the Day. Utterly the teachers' community shows demonstration on streets for their status, salary and other allowances, and government of Bangladesh doesn't pay attention in this connection. Education International (EI), the global union federation, that represents education professionals worldwide, strongly believes that World Teachers Day should be internationally recognised and celebrated around the world. At every Teachers Day, we expect that the Education Ministry and concerned authority arrange and coordinate various functions across the country to celebrate the Day. In this day, Government should announce prizes for our teachers' community for their hard work and commitment at official ceremonies, with the winners of the annual Teaching in the Divisional Excellence Awards should announce at each function, and should launch a public awareness campaign to highlight the contributions of the teaching profession, status, and dignity.
We should all be reminded of that teaching is a noble profession. From the days of Socrates to the time of Paul of the Bible students/graduates had spoken highly of their teachers (also called masters in some instances). Teachers make medical doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, agriculturists, musicians, pastors, politicians, nurses, computer analysts and many other workers who contribute effectively to the building of a nation. They work hard both inside and outside the classroom to help students realise the value of their future. Teachers implement the curriculum in the school in the face of numerous challenges. They are in periodic service to be abreast with modern technology which could make learning easy for their students. They even plan and implement Individual Education Programme (IEP) for students who achieve far below the grade level and are identified for help with their (students') parental consent.
Undoubtedly education is the biggest enterprise in any civilised society. Teachers play an important role in this enterprise. Their training, distribution and maintenance as professionals anywhere must be given serious attention. Together we must fight to provide our children with the education they need. Knowledge is Power, but Ignorance is a Disease. And teachers who are the facilitators of learning, which is the process of acquiring knowledge at school, deserve better. Our expectation is to respect the Day and encourage the government to take an effective decision to maintain normal educational atmosphere, movement-free institutions and a well-balanced separate pay scale for the teachers from primary level to university level accordingly.
Md Sharifur Rahman Adil is Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Feni South-East Degree College. Email: [email protected]