In Australia, World Teachers' Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday of October to acknowledge the efforts and important contribution teachers make to our society. (Internationally, it is celebrated earlier in October). DJ Creations sells 55mm button badges to help celebrate this special occasion. Since 1998, over 750 000 badges have been sold to Australian schools.
World Teachers' Day was inaugurated by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, in 1994. This date commemorates the adoption in 1966 of UNESCO's recommendations concerning the status of teachers.
UNESCO WORLD TEACHERS' DAY - 26th General Conference Recommendation 1966
The UNESCO World Teachers' Day acknowledges teachers' contribution to education and development. In our increasingly complex and rapidly changing societies, teachers' tasks are more demanding and challenging than ever before yet their status and professional standing is still underrated in most respects. At the 26th UNESCO General Conference, it was proposed (and agreed) that a World Teachers' Day be established to play a part in restoring teachers' rightful reputation. UNESCO Director-General, Federico Mayor, said that teachers all too often feel that they have lost the respect and consideration that is due to a difficult and demanding profession. "I therefore feel it is important to draw attention to the major role teachers play in society and to help bolster the esteem and recognition that they deserve," he said.
October 5 has been declared as World Teachers' Day, commemorating the adoption of the 1966 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. World Teachers' Day will represent a significant symbol of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development. The 1966 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers was adopted at a Special Intergovernmental Conference held in Paris and represented a giant step in defining the responsibilities and asserting the rights of teachers throughout the world.
Today, the 1966 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers is still one of the most important international tools for bringing about improvements in the teaching profession. The content of the document covers the entire spectrum of the teaching profession: recruitment, selection and training, preparation and professional standards of teachers at different levels, job security, rights and responsibilities, disciplinary action, and professional freedom. It also deals with salaries, holidays, special leave and study leave, tours and conditions of work, teaching aids, class size, teacher exchange, special provisions for teachers in remote and rural areas, provisions for women teachers with family responsibilities, medical benefits, social security, and pensions.
The Recommendation declares the rights of teachers boldly and vigorously and is intended to help develop to the full every talent of every child everywhere, and thus increase the excellence of the achievement of the human mind and spirit. The Recommendations, while not legally binding commitments, tend to influence practice and legislation, and have considerable political and moral weight.
Information courtesy of the Education International Magazine Brussels, Belgium, July 1994
Due to World Teachers' Day occurring during school holidays in many states and territories, it has been decided that the Australian celebrations will always be held on the last Friday in the month of October. It provides schools an excellent opportunity for schools to acknowledge their teachers' contribution to education and recognise the dedication and commitment that teachers provide for today's youth both in and out of the classroom.
Recognition of this World Teachers' Day in Australia is increasingly growing with all states and territories participating in celebrations either formally or informally. Schools have participated by presenting special awards to teachers; providing special morning and afternoon teas or lunch; displaying posters and publishing an article in the newsletter; presenting a small token to each teacher, like a flower, apple or certificate
Button badges have been an effective way of promoting World Teachers' Day and recognising the work teachers do in schools as well as valuing this contribution. They are sold to all schools in Australia. Flyers promoting the badges are forwarded in August each year. Badges were first sold in Australia in 1999. (They were only available in Queensland the previous year).
An important aspect of selling badges to teachers is the donation it generates to Make-A-Wish Australia. 25% of the gross earnings from the sale of the badges (excluding postage costs) are donated each year. The total amount donated to the Make-A-Wish to date is $534400.00
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