The History of World Teachers’ Day

Image of World Teachers' Day poster

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) believes that education, culture and communication are the means to building peace.

UNESCO inaugurated World Teachers’ Day in 1994 to focus attention on the contributions and achievements of teachers, and to highlight teachers’ concerns and priorities regarding education. October 5 was selected as the date to internationally celebrate teachers because on that date in 1966 a special intergovernmental conference adopted the UNESCO recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. For the first time, this recommendation gave teachers throughout the world an instrument that defines their responsibilities and asserts their rights. In adopting this recommendation, governments unanimously recognized the importance for society to have competent, qualified and motivated teachers.

Positive response to World Teachers’ Day over the past 11 years shows a significant awareness, understanding and appreciation for the vital contribution that teachers make to education.

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