Lessons in progress at a rural Indian school, on Oct. 20, 2013 in West Bengal, India.
Brent Stirton—Reportage by Getty Images
By Joanna Plucinska
October 5, 2015

UNESCO is honoring one of the world’s hardest-working professions with World Teachers’ Day on Monday, placing a spotlight this year on those who specialize in early childhood education (ECE).

Globally, ECE is a field often mired by poor training, staffing and funding. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, up to 10.9 million primary-school teachers will need to be recruited by 2020 to meet the goal of providing universal primary education for all.

World Teachers’ Day will kick off with a round-table discussion about the problems that plague education around the world at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris and ECE will lead the agenda, according to UNESCO.

There will be particular emphasis given to the lack of resources allocated to ECE in the developing world, where, UNESCO says, there are “equity gaps in access and learning which mostly affect the poorest regions and schools and the earliest grades.”

This year’s celebration will also focus on the Education 2030 initiative, launched in conjunction with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in an effort to promote sustainable and healthy teaching environments.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

Read More From TIME

EDIT POST