World Teachers’ Day 2011

"Teachers… ultimately determine our collective ability to innovate, to invent, to find solutions for tomorrow.  Nothing will ever replace a good teacher. Nothing is more important than supporting them.” (Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General). 

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October to celebrate the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels. It also commemorates the anniversary of the 1966 signature of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

In 2011 the event addressed “Teachers for gender equality”, focusing on two key issues: the learning achievement of girls and boys; and the gap between women and men in leadership positions in school administrations, teaching positions and education systems.  

Over 400 people from around the world attended the event held at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, which also saw the launch of the publication “Women and the Teaching Profession: Exploring the ‘Feminisation’ Debate in Selected Commonwealth Countries”. To prepare and consolidate discussions on the topic, an online forum was organized prior to the event. 

The all-day debates, the online forum report and the publication all stressed the importance of gender sensitivity training in education systems. By improving teachers’ and students’ understanding of equality a significant step will be taken towards a more balanced education system for all. 

For more information about World Teachers’ Day, please visit the WTD website or send a message to us: wtd(at)

Related Links

UNESCO Bangkok : Regional Asia-Pacific e-postcard initiative - “Send a message to your teacher”

UNESCO Brasilia Office: Brazilian “state of the art” on teacher policies

UNESCO UIS: Updated projections on the global supply and demand for primary teachers to 2015

UNESCO UIS:  Talk on “A qualified and motivated teacher for every girl and boy: addressing quantity and quality challenges for meeting international education goals in 2015:

IIEP: Policy Forum on “Gender equality in education: looking beyond parity” which was presented during discussions at UNESCO Headquarters on 5 October

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