Uganda Professional Science Teachers' Union – UPSTU

Uganda Professional Science Teachers’ Union (UPSTU)

World Teachers Day 2023: Shaping the ‘The Education We Want’ with ‘The Teachers We Need’

Article by Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union (UPSTU)

The 2023 World Teachers’ Day theme, “The teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage,” speaks to the heart of a local and global challenge. In Uganda, official World Teachers Day celebrations will be held at Kololo Independence grounds on Thursday 5th October 2023. The celebration world over will address the unprecedented global teacher shortage and showcase practices to attract, retain, and motivate teachers and educators. However, it also prompts us to reflect on the profound interplay between the education we want and the teachers we need to make that vision a reality.

The Education We Want

In the 21st century, education stands at pivotal crossroads, a juncture where innovation, adaptability, and purpose-driven learning are the guiding stars for our children. The education we want is not merely an accumulation of facts and figures; it’s a holistic journey that equips students with the skills, knowledge, and mindset to thrive in our complex and interconnected world. It’s about nurturing creativity, critical thinking, empathy, and a profound understanding of our rapidly changing global landscape.

In this regard, Uganda has taken a significant step forward by rolling out a new competence-based, learner-centered curriculum. This shift marks a significant stride towards realizing the education we want. It places students at the center of their learning journey, emphasizing practical skills, critical thinking, and real-world application. This move aligns perfectly with the vision of a holistic and forward-thinking education system.

The Teachers We Need

At the core of this transformative education lies a critical element—the teachers we need. In the 21st century, educators are more than disseminators of information; they are mentors, guides, and champions of knowledge. They play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our learners.

The teachers we need should possess a unique set of traits and competencies that empower them to navigate the complexities of modern education:

  1. Student-Centered: They tailor their teaching to the individual needs and interests of their students, fostering a love for learning.
  2. Forward Thinking: They anticipate educational trends and adapt their methods to meet the evolving needs of students and society.
  3. Actively Engaged: They create interactive and participatory learning experiences, where students are active contributors to their education.
  4. Flipped: They embrace innovative teaching methods like the flipped classroom, where students engage with content outside of class and collaborate during class time.
  5. Relevant: They integrate real-world relevance into lessons, ensuring that what students learn is applicable to their lives.
  6. Social: They harness the power of social media and technology to engage students, build communities, and enrich the learning experience.
  7. Lifelong Learner: They model a commitment to continuous learning, inspiring their students to do the same.
  8. Collaborative: They foster a collaborative classroom environment where students learn from and with each other.
  9. Adaptable: They embrace change and continuously evolve their teaching methods to meet the needs of diverse learners.
  10. Innovative: They are creative thinkers who explore new ways to engage and inspire students, integrating technology seamlessly into their teaching.
  11. Empathetic: They understand and appreciate the diversity of their students, creating inclusive classrooms where every voice is valued.
  12. Global Looking: They foster a broader worldview, helping students understand global challenges and opportunities.
  13. Digital Literate: They are proficient in leveraging technology to enhance learning experiences.
  14. Problem-Solvers: They guide students in developing critical problem-solving skills, preparing them for real-world challenges.
  15. Resilient: They navigate the ups and downs of education with resilience, always focused on their students’ success.
  16. Community Engagement: They actively collaborate with parents, communities, and fellow educators to create a supportive learning ecosystem.

These traits, coupled with the previously mentioned qualities, define the teachers we need in the 21st century.


As we celebrate the incredible role of teachers in shaping the future this year, let us invest in their professional development, provide the resources they need, and celebrate their dedication. Together, we can ensure that the education we want becomes a reality, shaping generations of learners equipped to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of the 21st century. Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union (UPSTU) stands in solidarity with this transformative journey, where science education is the key to development and transformation. The future we envision is one where education is a beacon of hope, empowering learners to become responsible global citizens and change-makers in their communities.

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