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Press Release: World Teachers’ Day 2015: UNESCO Bangkok releases ‘Teachers in Asia Pacific: Status and Rights’ report

Many educators are overwhelmed and under-resourced, according to eight country study 

Teachers in Asia-Pacific are obligated to work well beyond contracted hours, lack adequate resources and in rural and impoverished areas are too often few in number or missing altogether, according to a study by UNESCO Bangkok.

The study “Teachers in Asia Pacific: Status and Rights” was released to commemorate World Teacher’s Day, celebrated every year on 5 October by UNESCO in recognition of the vital role teachers play in education and development. The study examines the rights and status of teachers in eight countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan. 

UNESCO Bangkok Director Gwang-Jo Kim said that the report offers a timely assessment of the situation facing teachers in the region as the world embarks on a new education agenda – one in which teachers will play a paramount role.

“World Teachers’ Day recognizes teachers’ core contributions to building sustainable societies and helping us realize the goal of quality education for all learners. We have entrusted teachers with the critical task of moulding the minds of future generations. They need, and deserve, our support to carry out their work,” he said. “UNESCO Bangkok’s study, ‘Teachers in Asia-Pacific: Status and Rights’ is an initial step towards better understanding how teachers are regarded and supported in this region.”

The study focuses on 10 areas: entry requirements; preservice training; recruitment and deployment; workload; professional development; salaries; retirement; assessment; unions; and school leadership.

Some key findings from the report include:

  – There is a disconnect between the supply and demand of teachers in most countries. Rural and remote areas in particular tend to suffer most from teacher shortages.

  – In some countries, men outnumber women in school leadership roles, while the reverse is true when it comes to teachers.

  – Teachers must often work outside of contracted hours to fulfill all of the terms of their contracts, including administrative and other non-teaching duties.

  – Despite increases in some countries, teachers’ salaries remain low compared to other professions.

  – Teachers are often left out of the decision-making process and in many countries the idea of teachers joining a union is a sensitive issue.

Download the full report here:


“Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies” is the theme of this year's World Teachers' Day.

For more on this year's World Teachers' Day, visit:

For media inquiries, please contact Noel Boivin, UNESCO Bangkok Media and Communications Officer: