There is a profession which can have a major impact to everyone in the world, but unfortunately, in most countries it is not rewarded well enough. Furthermore, ironically, we need much more trained people for that profession. I guess most of those who can read this had at least one.
Yes, that’s a teacher job.
Oct 5th was World teacher’s day, and Oct 16th was Chilean National teacher’s day. Both day aim at celebrating teachers’ hard work and raising awareness of the importance of the role played by teachers.
Is teachers’ hard work worth celebrating? Absolutely yes.
Then are they getting the enough treatment? In most cases, no.
We all know that there are many problems in the field of education and they vary depending on the situation. But in a general sense, what we need to improve the situation on teachers are as follows:
(1) more quantity and quality teachers and (2) resource spent on education (including their salary), and (3) willingness and effort to achieve those.
(1) More quantity and quality teachers
According to the report (UNESCO, UIS and GMR), there are about 27 million teachers needed to be hired by 2030 so that every child can go to primary school (67% in Sub-Saharan Africa). However, having more teachers and kids will not necessarily promote learning (actually it tends to have an opposite effect). Therefore we need more well-trained teachers (as well as the training system, of course)
(2) Quantity and quality of resource spent on education
Although teacher’s job is priceless, generally speaking, they worth getting payed more, especially if we want quality of education (before teaching others, you have to pay your bills!) To achieve so, we need more resources and it should be spent in an effective way. Unfortunately, many countries are not using its resource in the right direction because of the corruption. In this regard, I came across an interesting article (NYtimes) which talks about a huge billboard put above a busy intersection of the capital of Mexico, which shows the exact amount of the money which was wrongly spent (for example, about $2.8 billion annually goes into the pockets of 298,174 no-show teachers and administrators who collect pay without working.) I think this is really an innovative way to shed light on the corruption. Let’s see what will happen.
The billboard against the corruption, which reads “the money for the education which is depleted or stolen” (Source of the photo: NY Times)
(3) Willingness and effort
This is the essential part to make both (1) and (2) possible: if we really want our future generations to be able to learn, more efforts are needed at international and national levels. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is one of the biggest networks which tries to achieve those goals. I really liked the GPE’s blog on World Teachers’ Day written by Mary Burns, a former teacher who works at EDC (I met her once at a conference and she was really kind enough to share her work on E-learning with me, a total stranger.) In this insightful post, there is a part with which I really agree:
World Teachers’ Day honors teachers across the globe. But if we really want to honor the work of the world’s teachers, and strengthen the education systems that need it most, we must move beyond the theater of a one-day annual event and engage the year-round commitment of making teaching an attractive profession and improving the well-being of our existing teaching force.
On the other hand, at the occasion of the Chilean Teachers’ Day (Oct 16th), I had a chance to visit one school located in a rural area. the students had prepared dance shows and foods (their cake was delicious!) for their teachers. When I asked one teacher in person about teaching job, he said exactly the same thing I had heard many times from other teachers:
“I love teaching and kids. But I might change my job because I have my family and have to pay the bills. “
Teaching job is tough and they worth better treatment.
Viva all of teachers in the world!