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 engaged in educating the next generation, which is one of the most important human tasks. My aim in this will be to renew and pass on the existing reserve of human knowledge, culture and skills.
'I undertake to act with justice and fairness in all that I do and to promote the development of my pupils and students, so that each individual may grow up as a complete human being in accordance with his or her aptitudes and talents. I will also strive to assist parents, guardians and others responsible for working with children and young people in their educational functions.'
'I will not reveal information that is communicated to me confidentially, and I will respect the privacy of children and young people. I will also protect their physical and psychological inviolability.'
'I will endeavour to shield the children and young people in my care from political and economic exploitation and defend the rights of every individual to develop his or her own religious and political convictions.'
'I will make continuous efforts to maintain and develop my professional skills, committing myself to the common goals of my profession and to the support of my colleagues in their work. I will act in the best interests of the community at large and strive to strengthen the esteem 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.