World Teachers Day and Bangladesh’s Teachers

World Teachers Day and Bangladesh’s Teachers

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Masum Billah
World Teachers’ Day is being observed on 05 October every year across the globe since 1994.UNESCO proclaimed the day as World Teachers’ Day. Observing the day is an opportunity to acknowledge the teachers’ contribution to develop the future generation. More than 100 countries observe the day and Bangladesh also stands in the list. Various events are arranged in many countries around the world on or around October 5. These include celebrations to honor teachers in general or those who have made a special contribution to a particular community. In Bangladesh the day is observed through seminar, symposium, discussion sessions, forming human chain, rallies and offering prizes to some teachers for their valuable contributions to the cause of education.

Masum Billah photo

Masum Billah photo

Bangladesh runs the largest primary education in the world and its great portion is state run but the issue of quality still remains as a big debate. Students passing out of the government primary schools stand far apart from acquiring the terminal companies set. Though schools are housed in building or tin-shed, the classrooms scenes hardly attract the learners. The non-government primary schools and kindergartens which outnumber the government primary schools cannot accommodate the students in suitable classrooms and the teachers don’t have any basic training.
Our tiny tots and young buds receive their first stage of education in their life which is unimpressive. They grow up with this unimpressive education and idea of teaching. Almost fifty percent get dropped out of the school after receiving the primary education. The rest enter secondary schools that see mostly privately run. Ninety-seven percent secondary and higher secondary level educational institutions swim in the private sector though the teachers get their basic salaries from the state treasury. Here quality education and infusing the learners with necessary skills witness a poor show. Public universities pose to be the den of politics both for the students and teachers. Politics determines students’ stay in the campus, teaches promotion and other things. Pure study and research have become very negligible things here. Private universities have been struggling for their existence let alone think of quality and research. Of course, some are busy with making business. The entire gamut of education must be revised and reviewed in the greater interest of the nation and on this the genuine vow should be made.
“Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status” is the theme of World Teachers’ Day of 2016 which embodies the fundamental principles of the fifty-year- old Recommendation. Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) agenda reflect why teachers should be supported. A specific education goal, SDGs, pledges to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Teachers are the key players in these areas and fields.
The road map for the new agenda, the Education 2030 Framework for Action, highlights the fact that teachers are fundamental for equitable and quality education and, as such, must be “adequately trained, recruited and remunerated, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems”.However, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary not only to substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers but to motivate them by valuing their work. Thus we see how to evaluate the teachers and improve their status is a global concern.By 2030, 3.2 million more teachers will be required to achieve universal primary education and 5.1 million more in order to achieve universal lower secondary education.
Bangladesh endorses the international ideas and efforts devised in the international level. In the primary level female candidates’ qualification for teacher recruitment has been upgraded. In the secondary level non-government educational institutions teacher recruitment has been placed on the Non-Government Teacher Registration Certification Authority (NTRCA). But a recent loophole has been identified which need to be addressed. The ministry concerned and the teachers need to take a renewed vow to bury the ills prevailing in the field of education. Morality and quality must go hand in hand with the teachers otherwise they will not be able to guide the future generation to the golden path of development and light.
Education International which represents education professionals worldwide strongly believes that World Teachers’ Day should be internationally recognised and celebrated around the world.
EI also believes that the principles of the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations should be considered for implementation in all nations. The efforts of Education International and its 401 member organizations have contributed to this widely spread recognition. Every year, EI launches a public awareness campaign to highlight the contributions of the teaching profession. This has been an Argentinean tradition since 1915. Again, in India, Teachers’ Day is a day of great cross- national celebrations. India celebrates the birth of Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan on 5th September as Teacher’s Day. The day has been nationally celebrated since 1965. In Turkey, 24th November is designated as Teachers’ Day. The thought behind the event was provided by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who stated that "the new generation will be created by teachers.’
Potential people show reluctance to come to the profession of teaching. This is a fact not only in Bangladesh and other developing countries, rather it’s a fact in developed countries as well with some exceptions. Many people join this occupation being unable to manage other jobs is a cruel fact of this age. Sky-high scientific development, globalization and its bi-product commercialization of all social aspects contribute together to set this trend in motion. This occupation calls for diversified opportunities and facilities to accommodate bright and potential people so that they can tame the current social, technological and global complexities with dexterity as all professionals pass through the net of education. Efforts and research suitable for this age must continue in these areas under the true leadership of teachers.
(Masum Billah works for BRAC Education Programme as a specialist and writes regularly on various national and international issues)

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