ISLAMABAD: On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, United Nations system in Pakistan pays tribute to the efforts of 1.2 million teachers of Pakistan for their contributions to educating the children and youths of this country. However, the United Nations in Pakistan calls for teachers acknowledging the gap of teachers’ availability and capacity in the country.
A statement issued here said teachers are instrumental in ensuring that some 25 million out of school children access quality education services complete the primary school and move into the secondary level education. Teachers, therefore, play a central role towards achieving global and national commitments such as the Pakistan government’s National Plan of Action to Accelerate Education Related MDGs.
It is estimated that at least 5.2 million teachers have to be recruited to reach the goal of universal primary education by 2015. Fulfilling the quantitative figure of the teacher need may not be as strong a challenge as it will be ensuring professional competency of not only the newly hired teachers but also those already in the system.
In such a context, we recognize the importance of working hand-in-hand with federal, provincial and area governments to create conducive legislative and policy environment and strengthen teacher capacities through appropriate measures, so that the millions of children and youth who are in school and millions more expected to be enrolled in the coming days are in the care of professionally competent, sensitive and dedicated teachers.
At the same time, urgent action is required to ensure that basic human rights of education do not became an easy prey in the drive to cut public spending. The dignity of the teaching profession must be respected through decent work conditions, including freedom of association, high training standards, competitive remuneration and the opportunity to participate in the formulation of education policies, both at federal and provincial level.
Education is also the most important driver of human development. Teachers play a crucial role in not only imparting quality education to students but also helping them with character development.
The United Nations strongly believes in developing the institutional capacities of service providers and also lays special emphasis on policies and interventions that will help reach out to the poor and marginalized communities, especially to address inequalities in services and educational outcomes.