09.10.2018 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

World Teachers Day celebrated in Eastern Africa

Uganda celebrations for World Teachers Day

Across Eastern Africa, UNESCO celebrated World Teachers' Day with a variety of conferences, walks, moments of reflection, campaigns and national conferences, involving both teachers and students, stressing the value of the teaching profession, to ensure quality and inclusive education for all.

Under the theme of: “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher” World Teachers’ Day was celebrated across Eastern Africa, with campaigns, awareness-raising activities among teachers and national conferences to reflect upon the teaching profession and its paramount importance in raising the students of today, building strong and resilient citizens of tomorrow.

The theme has been chosen to remind the global community that the right to education cannot be achieved without the right to trained and qualified teachers. Even today, a continuing challenge worldwide is the shortage of teachers. There are an estimated 264 million children and youth still out of school globally. To teach the 2030 Education Goals of universal primary and secondary education, the world needs to recruit almost 69 million new teachers.

In Kenya, World Teachers day celebrations focused on the current educational curriculum reforms, digital literacy and competence-based curriculum. Under the theme: “Educational reforms and technological advancement: Enhancing Teacher Education, Training and Competence-based Learning” a conference was jointly organized and hosted by the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, the Teachers Service Commission and Kenyatta University. A Teachers’ Day walk at Kenyatta University took place, followed by a two-day conference on education and lifelong learning, emphasizing the importance of teacher policy making, teacher management and teacher education on pertinent issues related to teachers and promotion of quality, relevant, equitable education for all. It was an opportunity to harness knowledge and best practices on teacher-related issues, especially concerning the global and local themes, as well as a form of sensitization of in-service teachers and pre-service teachers on global and local themes. 2,000 teachers were sensitized about World Teachers’ day, 20 papers were presented on aspects related to teachers and 100 stakeholders in education were present.

In Ethiopia, a national conference on Teaching, Learning, Research and Community Services for national development, organized by the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA) took place, in collaboration with Wolaita Sodo University and partners. Over the two days conference, many panels were presented, on theme of- among others- the Status of Quality Education in college of Teachers Education in West Oromia Regional State; the Quest for Quality Education in Higher Education institutions of Ethiopia: A Rights-Based Approach; Teachers’ professional Autonomy in Government and Private Preparatory Schools of Addis-Ababa City Administration of Ethiopia: Implications for Quality Education; Leadership competencies for quality education in rural primary schools of Ethiopia. A Teacher of the Year award at the closing session of the two days.

In Mauritius, a morning assembly took place, with the involvement of pupils, who took the opportunity to give a speech and recited poems to value their teachers. In due respect for teachers, drawing and painting were carried out by pupils on the theme “Teacher in classroom” and Happy Teachers’ Day cards were also made during the Arts lesson. A small token was presented to teachers, a small candle on which “Let your light shine” was written. Talks by head teachers and deputy head teachers covered the contribution of Educators to the society and the overall development of the child. WTD was also celebrated in the island of Rodrigues: a public event gathering at Pointe Coton Public Beach emphasized the importance role of teachers. Finally, the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) in collaboration with Government Teachers Union (GTU) and other education unions organized a one-day workshop at Ebene Tower to reflect on the new challenges of the teaching profession.

In Tanzania, media coverage was given to World Teachers' Day, laying accent on teacher training, equipping schools more effectively and calling on governments worldwide to take bold measures to efficiently train and equip new and practicing teachers, to respond to the needs of all students, including the most marginalized. The Guardian, one of the major Tanzanian newspapers, mentioned and commented the joint UNESCO/ILO/UNICEF/UNDP statement on the occasion of World Teachers' Day . The paper emphasized Tanzanian teachers' challenges and lack of pre and in-service training to work in emergency or crisis contexts, to respond to the complex needs of vulnerable children, particularly girls, who have been forced to flee their homes because of armed conflict, violence or natural disaster.

In Somalia, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) interviewed Ms. Saba Bokhari, from the UNESCO Regional Office in Eastern Africa, on the UN role in ensuring all Somali have access to free, compulsory education; on the right to have trained and qualified teachers and the actions taken in Somalia; how the UN supports Somalia in addressing the challenges of bringing education to vulnerable populations, such as girls, children with disabilities, refugees and migrant children, IDPs, or poor children living in rural and remote areas. Somalia is essentially committed to the cause of education and has made great strides in securing peace across large parts of the land. However, in order for education to take place consistently and without disruption, long-term peace is important for sustainable development, just as sustainable development is important for peace. You can listen to the interview, in the Somali language, here.

In Uganda, the National Teacher Policy was launched, in the presence of the Vice President Edward Ssekandi and the First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports Janet Museveni. New Vision- News outlet in Uganda, published some photos of the national celebration.

On this day, UNESCO in the Eastern Africa Region jointly celebrated teachers' important contribution to improving the lives of millions of children all around the world, and with the firm commitment to increase the global supply of qualified and experienced teachers.

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