"A Call for Teachers!" is the slogan of World Teachers' Day 2013 (5 October), which UNESCO is celebrating along with its partners, the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNDP, UNICEF and Education International (EI). Since teachers are the most powerful force for equity, access and quality education, a call for teachers means calling for quality education for all. Quality education offers hope and the promise of a better standard of living. There is no stronger foundation for lasting peace and sustainable development than a quality education provided by well trained, valued, supported and motivated teachers.
Why a call for teachers?
Because there is a huge shortage of professional, well-trained and well-supported teachers to achieve better quality education. The challenge of recruiting teachers does not lie just in the numbers, but in the provision of quality teachers. Far too often teachers remain under-qualified, poorly paid and with low status.
The current supply of teachers is failing to keep pace with the demand for primary education. According to the latest UIS data, the world needs to create 1.6 million new teaching posts by 2015 in order to reach universal primary education, while replacing 5.2 million teachers leaving the profession.
The situation is most extreme in sub-Saharan Africa, where the school-aged population continues to rise. More than 900,000 new primary school teachers are required by 2015
At UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the focus of the 2013 World Teachers' Day celebration on 4 October will be on tackling the teacher gap, barriers to better quality education and teachers' role in developing globally-minded citizens.
Partners are also urged to organize events around the world in order to make the day a truly international celebration.
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