Teachers Change the World, One Child at a Time
Education transforms lives, breaks the cycle of poverty and provides a pathway to a better future. For children growing up in conflict and crisis, a school is more than a place of academic instruction. It's a sanctuary where they can be children again, surrounded by caring adults determined to give them the tools, training and emotional support they need to reach their full potential. Teachers give hope.
It should come as no surprise that when UNICEF asks children around the world what they want to be when they grow up, so many of them say simply, and with reverence: "A teacher." On World Teachers' Day, UNICEF salutes dedicated teachers everywhere.
When girls receive a quality education, society as a whole benefits. Strong, well-educated girls grow up to transform their communities. Nine-year-old fourth grader Tasneem and her family live in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, along with 80,000 other Syrian refugees. Her favorite subject is English. Even though it means more time doing homework, she is determined to achieve her dreams. “When I grow up, I want to be a teacher. An Arabic teacher," she says. "And I want to teach girls.” © UNICEF/UN0186524/Herwig
Goretti Arot teaches at Longalom Primary School in Uganda, using child-centered instruction methods she learned during teacher training and mentoring sessions provided by Voluntary Services Overseas, a program supported by UNICEF with funding from Irish Aid. There are more than 75 children in her class. © UNICEF/UN0236410/Nakibuuka
At her new school in Timor-Leste's Ermori district, built with support from UNICEF, 8-year-old Remizia Maria shyly revealed her life's ambition: "I want to become a teacher." © UNICEF/UN0227888/Helin
To help children and young people escape violence in the home and in the streets, some schools and community centers in Honduras are offering interesting programming 12 hours a day. "It goes beyond just the academics," says Mark Connolly, UNICEF Representative in Honduras. "Add a sports program, some coaches, and what might look like a rundown primary school could be a safe place." Above, Ingrid Castrillo dances with young girls at the community center where she teaches in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. © UNICEF/UN0217759/Bindra
A 3-year-old preschooler greets a delegation of UNICEF educators at Samaky Meanchey primary school in Poipet, Banteay Meanchey province, Cambodia. © UNICEF/UN0226344/Khoy
World Teachers' Day 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes education as a fundamental human right. UNICEF has over 750 experts working on education programs in 155 countries, supporting teacher training, curriculum development, social and emotional learning, preventing violence in schools and more.
Top photo: Volunteer teacher Maliathone tells a story to children at a UNICEF-supported Child-Friendly Space in Ban Bok camp, Attapeu, Laos. In July 2018, construction at the Xepien-Xenamnoy hydropower dam caused a flash flood through eight villages in Attapeu, affecting an estimated 13,000 people and displacing more than 4,270 to emergency shelters. “I’m actually very happy to be here to help," she says. "I just graduated from teacher training and I’ll be here for as long as I’m needed.” © UNICEF/UN0232098/Naze