Teachers shape future  

World Teachers’ Day, marking the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Recommendation – concerning the Status of Teachers, is celebrated every year on October 5.

The recommendation by UNESCO has helped set benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. As per UNESCO, the Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching personnel in higher education.

Without any doubt, a teacher has the unique opportunity to make a transformative and lasting impact on the lives of their students. The teachers contribute to shaping sustainable futures and offering personal fulfilment.

In India, Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually on September 5 to mark the birthday of the country’s former President Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on this day in 1888.

When Dr Radhakrishan took the office of the second President of India in 1962, his students approached him to seek permission to celebrate September 5 as a special day. Dr Radhakrishnan instead made a request of them to observe September 5 as Teachers’ Day, to recognise the contribution of teachers to the society. Since then it is celebrated as the teachers’ day.

Teachers and students flourish in a relationship of mutual respect. Teachers’ Day is a reminder of that richness. The celebration and respect should not be limited to an annual day alone.

Teachers’ Day acknowledges the contribution of teachers to society. Surely and without doubt, they are the backbone of the nation and prepare the younger generation for a brighter future. They are the foundation on which the quality education of the youth gets built. Teachers’ Day is a perfect opportunity to cherish their contribution. It is a reminder how they inspired one to do well and succeed in life, and recognise their hard work. Teachers’ Day is a reminder of that richness. The celebration and respect should not be limited to an annual day alone.

The private school teachers today often have a tough time economically, and many have lost the enthusiasm for teaching. Teachers in most private schools are still paid less than what they deserve. The government and society needs to work out means to address the issues facing them and ensure that they are paid so as to meet various challenges while they teach students.

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