A record number of 16,000 Finnish teachers and headmasters from different education levels came together in the frame of the OAJ’ Educa fair that took place on 27-28 January 2017, in Helsinki, Finland. This year, an independent ethical panel working with Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö, OAJ, one of the ETUCE’s member organisations in Finland, initiated a teachers’ pledge entitled Comenius oath that emphasises fairness, equality, peace and the role of teachers: “This oath is aimed to enhance teachers’ status as well as to remind every teacher that the teaching profession is very important and includes several principals that we, as teachers, have to respect”, said OAJ President, Olli Luukkainen.
The Comenius’ Oath
“As a teacher, I am committed to educating the next generation, which is one of the most important human tasks. My aim in this will be to renew and pass on existing human knowledge, culture and skills."
“I shall act with justice and fairness in everything that I do, and promote my students’ development, so that each individual may grow up as a whole human being according to his or her own aptitudes and talents. I shall also strive to assist parents, guardians and other responsible people working with children and young people in their educational functions."
“I shall not reveal information that is communicated to me confidentially, and shall respect the privacy of children and young people. I shall also protect their physical and psychological integrity."
“I shall endeavour to shield the children and young people under my care from political and economic exploitation, and defend the rights of every individual to develop his or her own religious and political beliefs."
“I shall make continuous efforts to maintain and develop my professional skills, committing myself to my profession’s common goals and support my colleagues in their work. I shall act in the best interests of the community at large and strive to strengthen the respect in which the teaching profession is held.”
In his speech, Olli Luukkainen stressed: “The OAJ´s wish is that this oath goes into the hands of all teachers all over Europe and across the world”.
Among the first to swear the Comenius’ Oath was Hanan al Hroub, the Palestinian teacher who had been awarded the Global Teacher Prize in 2016 who also committed to spread the oath in her country.