The world commemorates World Teachers’ Day (WTD) on 5th October amid the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Teachers around the world faced various challenges as some continue teaching in and outside classrooms around the world.

World Teachers’ Day is commemorated under the theme: “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future.”

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has called on governments and social organisations to be supportive towards teachers.

“We call on governments to protect teachers’  safety,  health,  and wellbeing,  as well as their employment,  to continue improving teachers’   working conditions,   and to involve teachers and their representative organisations in the COVID-19 educational response and recovery,” notes UNESCO in a statement.

South Africa’s Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga also urged the country to offer teachers more support.

“As we celebrate the teaching profession, we have a responsibility to take stock of our achievements. At the same time we must pause and reflect on some of the binding constraints that prevent us from keeping some of the brightest minds and young talents in the profession,” says Motshekga.

Motshekga thanked South African teachers for their efforts and noted how the government is aware of the  “unfavourable conditions” that teachers work in.

These include the prevalence of crime,  poverty and the burden of disease.

Motshekga thanked teachers who continue to teach in South African public schools despite the challenges that they face due to corruption and lack of resources.

“It is a reality that teachers are and will remain the heartbeat of any basic education system in the world and we salute them for that. Your country is indeed proud of you,” says Motshekga.

World Teacher’s Day | All teachers are the pillar to our basic education system: Angie Motshekga