NZEI Te Riu Roa
Media Release Ms03/3
Education Unions Urge Release Of Imprisoned Teachers
This Sunday is World Teachers’ Day.
October 5 was designated World Teachers’ Day by UNESCO in 1994. It commemorates the signing of the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers in Paris on October 5, 1966.
This was the first international declaration that acknowledged the importance of teachers and also laid down a set of universal rights and responsibilities to apply to the teaching profession worldwide.
The recommendation declared that qualified teachers are essential at all stages of the education system, from early childhood to higher education. That they help children, young people and adults develop essential social and life skills, such as trust, confidence, critical thinking and self-esteem.
World Teachers’ Day is observed in more than 100 countries. It is promoted by Education International, which represents 26 million education workers worldwide.
This year the theme is - ‘Teachers - Opening Doors To A Better World’.
NZEI Te Riu Roa, which represents early childhood teachers, primary teachers and principals, support staff in primary and secondary schools, special education staff, and advisers in the tertiary sector, is taking the theme literally.
NZEI Te Riu Roa, along with its sister education unions, PPTA, AUS, and ASTE, is calling for the cell doors to be opened for teachers who are political prisoners overseas.
Each union is asking its members to write letters to governments urging them to release fellow teachers and union members who are being held prisoner for political reasons.
“New Zealand teachers are proud to be part of a profession that is a force for good around the world,” says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President, Bruce Adin.
“That’s why we are marking World Teachers Day by trying to help free fellow teachers who are prisoners of conscience in other countries.”
A flier accompanying this release gives details of two teachers imprisoned overseas that New Zealand teachers will be writing letters for, urging that they be released.