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Teachers' Day October 5
A chance to remember those who taught us
Eric Shackle (shack)     Print Article 
Published 2006-10-05 11:43 (KST)   
According to UNESCO the world is facing a serious shortage of teachers.

They estimate that there are currently 60 million teachers in the world but that an extra 15-35 million are needed to achieve universal education by 2015.

Pratibha Umashankar, a journalist on the staff of the Khaleej Times in Dubai, very wisely wrote:

"To be a teacher is to touch a life for ever. Those who pursue this noble profession nurture the future generation, generation after generation. What we learn from them becomes a part of us."

We should all spare a thought on Oct. 5 for those patient chalkies who guided us through school. It is World Teachers' Day, which UNESCO inaugurated in 1994 to focus attention on the extraordinary contributions and achievements of teachers.

This year's event is particularly important because it marks the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation. Back in 1966 it was recalled "that the right to education is a fundamental human right" and that:
"Teaching should be regarded as a profession: it is a form of public service which requires of teachers expert knowledge and specialized skills...it calls also for a sense of personal and corporate responsibility for the education and welfare of the pupils in their charge."
Pratibha Umashankar points out that "a teacher's work is often thankless. Teachers are the unsung and unheralded heroes of a country. So, today, let's take a moment to express our gratitude to our teachers. Remember, if you can read this, thank your teacher."

It is certainly true that teachers do not always get the respect that they deserve from children. A visit to the behavior section of The Times Educational Supplement's staff room shows that British teachers frequently suffer from the disrespectful behavior of unappreciative pupils.

It is likely that these students do not realize how lucky they are to receive an education. According to Oxfam International, there are at present 115 million children worldwide who receive no education at all. Oxfam is part of the Global Campaign for Education, an international organization that is working for universal education.

We should use World Teacher's day to thank our teachers and remember all those who are not fortunate enough to receive an education. Perhaps we should also use today to remind ourselves and others to help the campaign for education for all.

Not all countries celebrate Teachers' Day on Oct. 5. In Australia, World Teachers' Day is held on the last Friday in October. This year it will be celebrated on Oct. 27, 2006.

In Turkey it will be celebrated on Nov. 24, in Poland on Oct. 14 and in Vietnam on Nov. 20.

OhmyNews readers will remember this popular story about the problems caused by Teachers' Day in South Korea.

I think there is no better way to conclude this article than with the words of Lee Iacocca, a U.S. automobile executive.
"In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have."
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Eric Shackle

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