Teacher’s Day in Albania, March 7th

The 7th of March is known as Teacher’s Day in Albania and is celebrated in all schools and universities. On 7 March 1887, Albanians opened the first desegregated, secular school under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire. This was a considerable achievement for the Albanian national movement and secular liberals of the time.

The Ottoman government didn’t recognize ethnic or linguistic communities; it only recognized religious establishments and their language. As the Albanians lacked a common religion or a national church, they were forbidden from education in their tongue — except for a few Catholic schools in some areas, which were also heavily oppressed. For centuries of Ottoman rule in Albania, Albanian books were prohibited, and any printing in the language had to be done abroad.

At that time, the school’s leaders were renowned Albanian Renaissance figures such as Pandeli Sotiri, Petro Nini Luarasi, Nuçi Naçi, Thoma Avrami, and others.

7 March was celebrated for many decades, even during the communist regime. It was a day when pupils and students praised their teachers, organizing festive surprises, concerts, and writing poems. There is also a tradition: the classes chose 5-6 representatives to visit the teacher’s home. The teacher welcomed the students and served them the best cookies she prepared. The gifts for teachers were so symbolic: flowers or a book.

Now, the tradition has changed. No one goes to the teachers’ houses, but this festive day is celebrated in schools with concerts or different activities. By the early 1990s in Albania, to promote the highest quality teaching, the most distinguished teachers were rewarded with high honors, the “Honored Teacher” and the ” Teacher of the People.”

World Teachers’ Day

World Teachers’ Day, or International Teachers Day, is held annually on October 5. Established in 1994, it commemorates the 1966 “Teaching in Freedom” signing.

It aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.

In 2017, World Teachers’ Day we commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, bringing the sometimes-neglected area of teaching personnel at Higher Education institutions into the conversation about the status of teachers.

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