Teachers' Day: Teachers Create Dialogue Every Day
Message by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan,
President of the United Nations General Assembly
5 October 2002
The right to education is a fundamental human right guaranteed
to all people as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. Today we celebrate the tenth anniversary of World Teachers'
Day, to pay homage to some 28 million teachers in 161 countries
for their dedication to preparing future citizens in an increasingly
linked and complex world. This year's theme: Teachers Create Dialogue
Every Day, recognizes the concept that all learning takes place
through dialogue. Access to education is not only a basic developmental
goal as stated in the Millennium Declaration; it is also a fundamental
condition for development per se.
The central role played by teachers in the process of education
is widely recognized. Despite great technical progress in communication
technologies, as a tool for learning, nothing can replace the
human contact. Professionally trained teachers ensure all-rounded
development of the human personality that takes into account the
spiritual, moral and social aspects. Awareness of values relating
to tolerance of diversity, environment, peace, health, love for
learning, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are
indispensable to individual development and progress of societies.
Teachers play a pivotal role to inculcate such values in their
pupils. Dialogue is the main tool of education. We recognize the
challenging and demanding task of teachers to provoke dialogue,
to teach children and young students to express their thoughts
as well as listen to each other. We are also aware of the demand
placed on teachers, in a world of mass media, to access information
as well as its critical assessment.
On this special day, all Member States have the opportunity to
undertake an evaluation of the access to education for everyone
and the provision of appropriate conditions for teachers enumerated
in the Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers adopted
on 5 October 1966 and the Recommendation concerning the Status
of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel adopted on 11 November
1997. Teachers need and merit support of the whole society. Teachers
serve the society in a very special way; they essentially contribute
to building a more tolerant and friendly world based on mutual
respect. The great diversity of the laws and practices in different
countries impact on the planning of education. All States should
ensure that the preparation and employment of teachers is free
from any form of discrimination on grounds of race, color, sex,
religion, political opinion, national or social origin, or economic
condition. Their academic freedom, conditions of work, employment
security, facilities to improve their pedagogical skills and upgrade
their academic credentials and promotion of their access to appropriate
training should be given priority in national educational planning.
Gender sensitivity is important to encourage women, through creating
appropriate opportunities and conditions for their inclusion into
this profession. United Nations organizations will continue to
promote and support the cause of teachers.
take this opportunity to express my great appreciation and gratitude
to all teachers for their untiring dedication to training children
around the world.