The theme of World Teachers’ Day 2020 is “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has meant the closure of schools throughout the world, and it has forced the development of digital education as a basic tool in the fight against social inequality, something that was evident even before this crisis.
The 5th of October is a day for paying tribute to the teaching profession, for taking stock of its achievements and for raising society’s awareness about the challenges faced by this collective and about its role in achieving global education objectives. Moreover, this year also represents an opportunity for looking at the role of teachers in education systems and in societies in general as the pandemic advances and as we enter a future that is uncertain and, to a large extent, unexplored.
Ever since ProFuturo started up its activity in 2016, it has believed that teachers are the activators of educational change, and it has therefore made them the essential figure in its digital education programme. Teachers with better training and with technological and pedagogical skills adapted to the challenges of the 21st century are capable of transforming the short-term future of their students. Therefore, during 2020 and together with our partner Empieza por Educar (Start by Educating), we have developed an ambitious teacher professional development plan in Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Through teachers, we will help to improve the quality of education of thousands of children who live in vulnerable rural areas of these countries. ProFuturo’s daily work centres on strengthening not only the pedagogical practice of teachers but also their capacity to manage the classroom, their digital skills and their technological appropriation through training, in addition to offering assistance and continuous support. To achieve this, teachers receive mixed training (face-to-face and online) given by ProFuturo’s teams and local partners through a coordinator.
If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic’s effect on education, it’s that teachers are capable of being leaders and facing the pertinent changes to ensure that no student is left behind. According to data from UNESCO, 63 million primary and secondary school teachers throughout the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Helping them to recover their mental and physical stability and to continue being leaders at a time of change and an uncertain future is a vital task for both ProFuturo and its partners. Because teachers not only build a better future for millions of children throughout the world, with their work they also contribute to building a more just and egalitarian society and a better world.