Girls attend class at the Marefat School on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Arab world, including Afghanistan, is one of the regions most threatened by a lack of well-educated, well-supported teachers. According to the UN, nearly 500,000 educators will be needed in the Arab world by 2030.
Photograph by Lynsey Addario, National Geographic
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    On October 5, 1994, the United Nations first celebrated World Teachers Day. World Teachers Day recognizes that teachers are the “most powerful force for equity and access to quality education” worldwide.
    There is a shortage of well-trained, well-supported teachers around the world. This teaching crisis impedes universal primary education (UPE), one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and an ideal measurement of basic education. Teacher shortages impact the developing world, especially nations in sub-Saharan Africa and the “Arab States,” which stretch from the Maghreb to the Indian Ocean.
    Events to honor World Teachers Day involve teachers, students, and communities. In Chicago, Illinois, a forum will help articulate ideas for how teachers and other educators influence—and are influenced by—their communities. A conference in New Delhi, India, will focus on how universities can reform their curriculum to better prepare students for jobs after college. In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a theater festival will use a Bangladeshi play about the ancient Greek educator Socrates to honor teachers and the teaching profession.  “Around the World in One Teachers’ Day” is the theme for a celebration in Koronadal, Philippines. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    access Noun

    ability to use.

    ancient Adjective

    very old.

    articulate Verb

    to clearly and logically explain a thought or pattern.

    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    conference Noun

    meeting for discussion.

    crisis Noun

    event or situation leading to dramatic change.

    curriculum Noun

    classes or courses of study offered by a school or a specific school program.

    developing world Noun

    nations with low per-capita income, little infrastructure, and a small middle class.

    equity Noun

    fairness or impartiality.

    forum Noun

    meeting or assembly for the open discussion of ideas.

    ideal Adjective


    impact Verb

    to influence or have an effect on something.

    impede Verb

    to interfere or slow down.

    influence Verb

    to encourage or persuade a person or organization to act a certain way.

    Maghreb Noun

    region in North Africa made of five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania.

    measurement Noun

    process of determining length, width, mass (weight), volume, distance or some other quality or size.

    Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Plural Noun

    set of eight goals agreed to by all members of the United Nations, concerning improving the quality of life in the developing world.

    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    philosopher Noun

    person who studies knowledge and the way people use it.

    recognize Verb

    to identify or acknowledge.

    reform noun, verb

    change or improvement of a policy or process.

    rural Adjective

    having to do with country life, or areas with few residents.

    shortage Noun

    scarcity or lack.

    sub-Saharan Africa Noun

    geographic region located south of the Sahara Desert in Africa.

    theater Noun

    building or outdoor space for hosting performances.

    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.

    UPE Noun

    (universal primary education) second of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, seeking to "ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling."

    urban Adjective

    having to do with city life.