Teachers are the Key Force behind COVID-19’s Global Education Recovery

More investment in the well-being, training, professional development, and working conditions of the world’s 71 million educators is needed to help the education sector recover from the COVID pandemic, UN agency heads said on Monday, just ahead of World Teachers’ Day. 

World Teachers’ Day, observed annually on October 5th, is an important opportunity to call on governments and the international community to raise awareness of teachers and their issues, as well as to discuss effective and promising policy solutions. 

Teachers have been at the core of the educational response to the COVID-19 problem, from deploying technology imaginatively to providing socio-emotional support to their pupils and targeting those most in danger of falling behind. 

Now is the moment to acknowledge the important role teachers play and to provide them with the training, professional development, support, and working circumstances they require to fully utilise their abilities. Education rehabilitation will be successful if it is carried out in collaboration with teachers, who will be given a voice and space to participate in decision-making. 

As of September 27, 124 countries had fully reopened their schools, 44 countries had partially reopened their schools, while 16 countries had stayed completely closed. 

These data emphasise the importance of paying attention to teachers’ health and well-being as schools reopen, as well as the need for ongoing professional development in order to successfully integrate and use instructional technology. 

According to UNESCO study, 71% of countries have given vaccinating teachers some priority, but only 19 countries have included them in the first round of vaccinations, and 59 countries have not prioritised them in roll-out plans. 

More effort is required to help teachers in situations where remote and hybrid teaching are still required. 

Putting teachers at the center of the education recovery, which is this year’s goal, will necessitate a larger staff. 

Conveners and partners, including the World Bank, the Global Education Coalition, and civil society organisations, will organise global and regional events, as well as an advocacy campaign, to commemorate World Teachers’ Day in 2021, with the participation of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. 

Panel discussions and online sessions will be held over the course of five days to examine effective policies, evidence, and innovative practices for supporting teachers in their recovery, building resilience, and reimagining education in the post-pandemic world, and advancing the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) of inclusive and equitable education. 

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