How did your school celebrate World Teacher’s Day?

| November 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, delivered an official message, paying tribute to teachers everywhere, and introducing this year’s theme, gender equality in the classroom.

Gender equality the theme this year

“This year’s theme, “Teachers for Gender equality”, reminds us that in order to achieve Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the gender dimension of teaching must receive particular attention, beginning with girls’ access to schools. We know, for example, that in many regions a low proportion of female teachers will mean fewer girls at school and consequently even fewer women teachers in the future.

“Yet educating girls and women has cascading benefits for human development: fewer deaths in childbirth; more healthy babies; more children in school; better protection for children and women from HIV and Aids, trafficking and sexual exploitation; and the economic and political empowerment of women, leading to stronger and more inclusive development,” said Bokova.

New research published The day also saw the launch of a joint publication from the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNESCO, entitled Women and the Teaching Profession: Exploring the Feminisation Debate in Selected Commonwealth Countries. Co-author Dr Sylvia Anie said “Research on trends in the teaching profession indicates that women have increased their presence in nearly all levels of teaching, most notably at the primary and university levels.

“However, many women continue to experience inequity relating to remuneration, career progression and lack of promotion to managerial positions.

“At the other end of the spectrum, it is argued that in some countries, boys have been negatively impacted by an overabundance of female teachers who cannot provide the role models they need. The issue of feminisation of the teaching profession is by no means simple.”

Women teachers the majority, but still not equal

Across the globe, said Bokova, women make up the majority of the teaching profession at the primary level, 62% globally but as high a proportion as 99% in some countries.

“ We must promote equal opportunities for women to be school leaders, institutional managers and decision-makers within ministries of education, for more women to become Science, Mathematics and technology teachers, and for more men to be recruited as early childhood and primary school educators,” she said, adding that, “It is also important to identify the causes for the shortage of women teachers where they exist. Adequate provisions for maternity protection and parental leave, as well as effective protection from sexual violence and abuse, are essential. If qualified female teachers avoid postings in disadvantaged and rural areas, how can we convince reluctant parents to send their children to school?”

Category: Summer 2011

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