#WorldTeachersDay | Lessons from the Pandemic: Jordan Naidoo (UNESCO)

The experience of the past months shows that hard times really bring us together and reminds us of our collective power to endure and overcome the toughest challenges. The need for stronger partnerships, collaboration and global solidarity was emphasised repeatedly in collective efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic underpinned by the “us together” ethos of the SDGs, in spite-of the “me first” attitude of some.

No school or education system has been untouched by COVID-19, with repercussions varying across and within countries. Some seized the opportunity for innovation, the power of technology and a leap into the future for education. However, in general there has been a destructive impact, like other crises –natural or man-made, in particular on the most vulnerable people and systems. One obvious takeaway is that, in our recovery efforts, it is imperative that we build resilience in and through education. We must ensure the ability of learners, teachers, communities, and education systems to anticipate, prevent, withstand, adapt to, and recover from stresses and shocks while advancing the rights of every learner, with special attention to the most marginalized and disadvantaged in society. 

Most importantly, COVID-19 has highlighted that it is time to chart a new vision for education that capitalizes on a newfound recognition and support for education in almost every community across the globe.A new vision must include greater recognition of the essential role of teachers and an obligation to a duty of care to education personnel.

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On 5 October, Education International marks World Teachers’ Day with a 24-hour virtual broadcast spanning the globe. Teachers everywhere will come together to share what they have learned as a profession and how we can ensure inclusive equitable quality education for all moving forward.

The full programme, featuring teachers from across the globe, as well as Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers of Education, heads of international organisations, famous journalists and scientists, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and many more, is available at >www.5oct.org/programme/>.

The event will be livestreamed across all Education International platforms and you can register here.

All streaming links will be available on the day at >www.5oct.org/watch/>, with interpretation to English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese.

Join the global conversation on October 5!


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Jordan Naidoo

Jordan Naidoo is Director of the Kabul Office and Country Representative for UNESCO to Afghanistan.

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