The National Education Day is a holiday for teachers, educators and pedagogues. It is celebrated on the anniversary of the establishment of the National Education Commission on October 14, 1773. The Commission was Europe’s first “ministry of education” which dealt with the issues of education in pre-partition Poland.
The commission operated from 1773 until 1794. It created a modern organisational structure of education - from elementary schools through middle schools to universities. The reform covered curricula with elements of natural sciences, history and geography of Poland, Polish language and civic education. Elements of physical education were also introduced.
The commission also regulated the legal basis of the teaching profession and created the first teacher training schools. It also established teacher training seminars at universities.
The National Education Commission was dissolved when Poland lost its independence, however, many of the introduced solutions were continued.
“To all teachers, all people involved in education, all people involved in the upbringing of the young generations, I wish all the best, a lot of happiness, a lot of prosperity, satisfaction with work, great success also in family life, because you are all extremely important,” Education and Science Minister, Przemysław Czarnek told public radio broadcaster. He added that there are as many as “700,000 people in Poland who decide what the future of Polish society will be”.
The National Education Day is an opportunity to reward outstanding teachers and non-teaching staff. On this day teachers are awarded the crosses of merit, medals of the National Education Commission (the highest distinction awarded by the Education Minister) , and awards for teaching and educational achievements. On the occasion of the National Education Day, the honorary professor of education titles are also awarded.
Meanwhile, World Teacher’s Day is celebrated on October 5. The international holiday was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1994. It commemorates the anniversary of signing the “Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers” by UNESCO and the World Labour Organisation on October 5, 1966. The recommendation is the basic document defining the scope of teachers’ rights and obligations.