Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Held annually on October 5 since 1994, World Teacher's Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers which constitutes the main reference framework for addressing teacher's rights and responsibilities on a global scale.
World Teacher's Day 2017 will be celebrated on the theme “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers,” echoing the 2015 theme that followed the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, when teacher empowerment was reaffirmed as a top priority in all education and development strategies.
The Philippines joins the international community in celebrating teacher's day with the theme “Gurong Pilipino, Ka-akbay sa Progreso,” recognizing the role of teachers in honing the full potential of students towards nation building.
The teacher's day themes may seem different at first blush but they are actually aligned. The world needs empowered teachers for progress and a bright future to be possible.
The role teachers play in nation building cannot be ignored. Politicians may be responsible for the short term future of the Philippines but the long term future of this country will depend on the quantity and quality of its teachers and how the government equips and empowers these influencers of young minds.
We have our own little ways of celebrating World Teacher's Day. Parents of school aged children and students usually take the opportunity to give teachers tokens of appreciation. Schools hold programs or awarding ceremonies for teachers. The Department of Education will be concluding a month-long celebration of National Teachers Month with various celebrations.
However, teachers will need more than the flowers, tokens, trinkets and trophies that come with Teacher's Day if they are to truly make a difference. Empowering teachers means making sure they have the classrooms, learning materials and facilities they need to do their job. It involves continuous training for them be updated and evolve with the changing times and paradigms. We need to pay them better so they can follow their dreams of helping others reach their own dreams without needing to go abroad and/or abandon their calling.
As we show our appreciation for the teachers of our past and present today, let us also help pave the way for the teachers of the future by calling on schools as alumni, and on government as taxpayers, to value and empower the teachers of the land.*