THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION MEANS THE RIGHT TO A QUALIFIED TEACHER
World Teachers’ Day (WTD), held annually on 5 October since 1994, is an important event for the entire educational community. It is a day that commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1996 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The 1996 recommendation constitutes the main reference framework for addressing teachers’ rights. This year, World Teachers’ Day focusses on the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.
World Teachers’ Day has become the occasion to measure achievements in South Africa against the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all. Teachers are key to the achievement of the 2030 Education agenda. Learners are in desperate need of qualified teachers. Studies revealed that the Department should be recruiting between 25 000 and 30 000 teachers every year, which is compounded by the fact that the higher education and training system only produces approximately 8 000 teacher graduates a year. The Department should act with urgency to address the challenges in the profession.
The safety of teachers in schools and overcrowding in classrooms hinders quality teaching and learning. Conditions that teachers work under contribute towards making the teaching profession unattractive. The Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme, initiated by the Department has achieved very little for the teachers on the ground. More should be done to appreciate teachers because education is the mother of all professions. What teachers do daily, lays a solid foundation to move South Africa forward.
NAPTOSA calls on all its members and all South African teachers to embrace continued teacher professional development by ensuring that they attend professional development courses offered by SACE-accredited institutions and register their CPTD points. Continuous professional development will enhance classroom practice and benefit the children in our care.
Teach with dignity.