Teachers, their training, recruitment, retention, status and working conditions are among UNESCO’s top priorities. The main challenge faced by the teaching profession is both one of numbers and quality. In other words, the world needs more and better teachers. The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. UNESCO works to address this challenge in addition to advocating for teachers and defending their rights.
The UNESCO Teachers Strategy 2012-2015 focuses on developing capacity for training and building a high-quality teaching force in countries most hampered by the lack of teachers, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
UNESCO is committed to upholding legal frameworks that protect teachers’ rights. A committee of experts appointed by UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) meets every three years to monitor the application of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (1966) and the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997).
Every year on 5 October UNESCO celebrates World Teachers’ Day along with its partners ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and Education International.