World Teachers Day 2013: Raising Global Citizens

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
October 5, 2013 Updated: June 24, 2015

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 is World Teachers Day, a day to appreciate teachers, but also to reflect on the direction education is headed around the world.

The United Nations explains the need for a global teachers day: “Teachers are producing global citizens, so they are global teachers, who need to situate their advances on a global level. WTD [World Teachers Day] is an opportunity to rethink national issues facing teachers from an international perspective, to benchmark progress made by national teachers in a global context.”

Some international teacher-related facts from the U.N.:

  • The demand for lower secondary education continues to grow worldwide. Between 1999 and 2011, the gross enrollment ratio rose by 10 percentage points, reaching 82 percent.
  • A total of 3.5 million new lower secondary education teaching posts must be created by 2015, and 5.1 million will be required by 2030. 
  • Sub-Saharan Africa alone represents close to one-half the global lower secondary education shortage (46 percent). In fact, the region will need an extra 1.6 million teachers by 2015, and 2.5 million by 2030.

The theme of the 2013 World Teachers Day is “A Call for Teachers.”

Unicef interviewed a teacher of Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai in honor of the day. Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban for her education advocacy, but survived and has become a symbol of efforts to further education in Pakistan and abroad. Her teacher, Mariam Khalique, spoke of the tribulations she faced when becoming a teacher in Pakistan.

“My parents were very supportive, but the rest of my family, my relatives, were talking against me,” she said. “But, with the passage of time, I made them realize how important it was, and they saw me, how I grew like a plant. They saw my success, and finally I became the director of school.”