World Teacher’s Day: “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers” – UNESCO

by Kim Boateng Posted on October 5th, 2017

World Teachers’ Day 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel. This UNESCO Recommendation emphasises the value of ensuring quality education even at the level of Higher Education because similar to teaching at the levels of infant, primary, and secondary, “teaching in higher education is a profession requiring expert knowledge, specialized skills, and pedagogical competence.”

Out of a real sense of appreciation for teachers and the vital contribution that they continue to make to nation-building, the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development salutes all teachers for going above and beyond the call of duty to educate and empower students globally.

World Teachers’ Day 2017 is being celebrated under the theme “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”, echoing the 2015 theme that followed the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) in September 2015, when teacher empowerment was reaffirmed as a top priority in all education and development strategies.

World Teacher’s Day is celebrated annually worldwide and brings together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, teachers and experts in the field of teaching. With the adoption of SDG 4 on education, and the dedicated target 4.c recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda,


Photo: World Teachers’ Day 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel.

it has become the occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession, like the acute shortage of teachers. Indeed, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the world needs 69 Million teachers if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Recommendation, an international conference took place at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris today, 5th October 2017 . It brought together teachers, trainers, policy-makers, as well as researchers and other education stakeholders to celebrate teaching, academic freedom, and what we need to do to ensure quality higher education and a sustainable future for the teaching profession.

The stated objectives of the conference are:

To celebrate and highlight the contribution of teachers, from pre-primary through to higher education, to the education and development of our future citizens.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Recommendation concerning Higher-Education Teaching Personnel.
To discuss the issue of quality in higher education teaching and what this means for quality teaching at all levels of education in light of achieving SDG 4 on inclusive and quality education for all.
To showcase and discuss progress and persistent challenges in higher education such as institutional autonomy, academic freedom, and professional development of higher-education teaching personnel.

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Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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