• 4 October 2015

On the 21st anniversary of the World Teachers' Day, which was launched by UNESCO in 1994 to celebrate the role of teachers in society and is celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide today, Dubai Cares draws the public's attention to the important role of trained teachers in communities where learning has the potential to change the future of children and nations alike. Today, 250 million children around the world go to school but do not necessarily learn - one of the main reasons for this deficiency is the shortage in qualified teachers.

Today, the world is short of teachers and qualified teachers; tens of millions of teachers in the current workforce are far too often under-qualified, poorly paid and struggle with low socio-economic status. The reality of children, both in and out of school, will remain unchanged unless this is treated as a serious issue and steps are taken to elevate and highlight the role of competent teachers in national development. This in turn, will attract qualified youth to the teaching profession, which can have a positive impact on children's education around the world.

On this occasion, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: "Teachers play a crucial role in children's learning and development. When we think of classrooms, the images that first spring to mind are usually the physical aspects such as the classroom, the posters on the wall, the tables and chairs, text books, pencils and boards. We also tend to put more emphasis on the parents bringing up a child and shaping their outlook on life, yet it is the teacher who will spend more time with the child and recognize his/her strengths and capabilities. Teachers are not just teachers; they are mentors; they are children's friends who can act as catalysts that encourage children to be curious, to ask questions, to shape their minds and their surroundings in order to become better individuals," Al Gurg added.

Across all its programs, Dubai Cares works with local partners, as they possess valuable contextual knowledge. However, one of the organization's most important partners are the teachers – without their support, advocacy and determination, it would be hard to put programs into effect or more importantly sustain them. Dubai Cares aims to benefit children through its programs, but it focuses on enhancing the teaching experience as well, through the provision of relevant training opportunities for teachers and adequate teaching resources.

"Today, we stand at a point where developing teaching as a profession is of utmost importance; to do so we need to improve the societal perception of teaching as a profession, recruit top candidates into the profession, retain and recognize effective teachers, and support teachers in continued development of practice. Investing in the teacher in terms of knowledge, skills and access to information, guarantees that the voice of teachers is heard. In my perspective, teachers are the silver bullet to quality education" concluded Al Gurg.

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