Teachers are the heart of our community

    TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - UNESCO inaugurated October 5 as World Teachers'
Day in 1994. The theme of World Teachers' Day this year is that "Teachers are
the Heart of our Community."
    According to UNESCO, World Teachers' Day represents a significant
recognition, understanding, and appreciation for the vital contribution that
teachers make to education and development.

    Ontario Teachers' Federation President, Maureen Davis, today sent this
message to teachers:

           Whether you are a teacher who works in an open-air school in a
           village in Kenya or in a wired-for-tech building in Ottawa, every
           day you demonstrate that you are the heart of our communities.

           In many communities and cultures, to be a teacher is to be an
           honoured and respected leader of society. Throughout time,
           teachers have been the transmitters of the knowledge and the
           history of the people. Teachers were mentors, educators,
           instructors and agents of social change. In many cultures, and at
           many times, the title teacher also conferred a sacred nature.

           This year, World Teachers' Day falls in the middle of a provincial
           election campaign. Teachers care passionately about protecting
           quality publicly funded education for our students. We have heard
           a lot of discussion about children living in poverty. Teachers are
           in a good position to address this challenge and advocate for

           A joint message on World Teachers' Day from Education
           International (EI), the United Nations Development Program,
           UNICEF, UNESCO, and ILO says,

           "Teachers are a crucial element in the achievement of the
           international education goals of Education for All and of the
           Millennium Development Goals. These goals commit governments to
           providing a good quality education for all children by 2015."

           While you as teachers in your classrooms look child poverty in the
           face and tackle its causes and solutions, your professional
           organizations - the Ontario Teachers' Federation, the Canadian
           Teachers' Federation and Education International focus on the
           underlying policy issues and put pressure on governments to do the
           right thing for children.

           All of this is what it means for us as teachers to be the heart of
           our communities. Today is an especially good time to celebrate
           what teachers accomplish every day. It is also a time to think
           about other opportunities for the future.

           Remember to thank a teacher today.

    The Ontario Teachers' Federation is the advocate for the teaching
profession in Ontario and for its 155,000 teachers. OTF members are full-time,
part-time and occasional teachers in all the publicly funded schools in the
province-elementary, secondary, public, Catholic and francophone.

For further information:

For further information: Kathleen Devlin, Director, Policy & Public
Affairs, (416) 966-3424

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Ontario Teachers' Federation

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