October 5, 2018 is International World Teachers' Day. For 2018, UNESCO adopted the theme: "The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher."
We are very fortunate to live in a province and country where our students are taught by such skilled and qualified teachers. This isn't the case in other parts of the world
. In sub-Saharan Africa for example, only 64 per cent of primary school teachers are trained. In South Asia, this rate reaches 71 per cent.
The UN Institute of Statistics estimates that the world needs almost 69 million new teachers
to reach Sustainable Development Goal 4—a pledge by the international community to ensure that all children and youth are in school by 2030.
Currently, six out of ten children and adolescents worldwide are unable to meet minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics
. That is about 617 million children and youth.
As I wrote in the piece about International Literacy Day
, in LRSD, we are privileged in contrast to many parts of the world. Although we face challenges of teacher shortages in certain program areas (i.e., French Immersion), and we worry about the inequities in outcomes for our most vulnerable children and youth, our challenges pale in contrast to other regions of the world.
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF, says that "education is the key to a better life for every child and the foundation of every strong society" but laments that "far too many children are still being left behind."
António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, says that "we have a collective responsibility to ensure education plans take into account the needs of some of the most vulnerable children and youth in the world—refugees, internally displaced children, stateless children and children whose right to education has been compromised by war and insecurity." He goes on to say that "these children are the keys to a secure and sustainable future, and their education matters for us all."
Here at LRSD we have a collective responsibility to meet the needs of all of our students, whatever their background or personal family circumstances.
A secure and sustainable future depends on the quality of education systems in all regions of the world. And, quality education can only be achieved by valuing teachers and nurturing their collective capacity.
For more information visit UNESCO World Teachers' Day
.-posted on October 5th, 2018 by Christian Michalik, Acting Superintendent