World Teachers’ Day, observed annually in October, is designed to focus on “assessing, evaluating and improving the status of teachers around the world.” This year, it arrived amid the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which for more than a year has caused a shift in teachers’ roles and changed the nature of the profession.
With schools closed and forced to suddenly pivot to online education, teachers have found themselves in unconventional learning environments that require new appropriate teaching methods and tools. (See a related article, “Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Help Reform Arab Higher Education?”)
Education experts, policy makers and teachers’ advocates are still assessing the impact of those changes and what needs to be done to support teachers and improve education.
According to Sobhi Tawil, director of the Future of Learning and Innovation Team at Unesco, the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges related to providing equal access to education and affected learning quality, yet it forced everyone to adapt and create.
“Teachers were the ones who led this work,” Tawil said. “Then we came back and discovered the central role teachers play in the educational process and society in general.” (See a related article, “The Shift to Online Education in the Arab World Is Intensifying Inequality.”)