Senator Statement: World Teachers' Day Senator Jane Cordy October 4th, 2012
Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, tomorrow, October 5, we celebrate World Teachers' Day. This day was designated in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to coincide with the adoption in 1966 of the Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This recognizes the need for competent, quality and motivated teachers around the world.
This year's theme is "Take a Stand for Teachers." It is a call to society and policy-makers to support and respect teachers in times that have taken a toll on public education. This aims to provide adequate training, ongoing professional development and protection for teachers' rights.
A quality education offers hope and the promise of a better standard of living for students. However, this cannot exist without competent and motivated teachers, teachers who are interested in the whole student and not just academics. I am sure we can all remember teachers who went above and beyond and who viewed teaching as more than just a job.
It is essential that we acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in building the future.
Teachers are one of the many factors that keep children in school and influence learning. They help students to think critically, process information from several sources, work cooperatively, tackle problems and make informed choices. I am sure you would agree that these are desirable skills in all professions, but especially in education.
Honourable senators, World Teachers' Day gives us the opportunity to examine issues facing teachers on both the regional and the national level, from an international perspective.
In the words of Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General:
On this day, we call for teachers to receive supportive environments, adequate quality training as well as "safeguards" for teachers' rights and responsibilities . . . We expect a lot of from teachers — they, in turn, are right to expect as much from us. This World Teachers' Day is an opportunity for all to take a stand.
Honourable senators, I know there are many former teachers in the Senate. As they will tell you, teaching is an amazing career with lots of special memories that we have from those who were in our classes. Let us celebrate World Teachers' Day tomorrow.