Teachers, and not technology, are the future of education, said Education Minister Shai Piron on Tuesday.
Piron made these remarks during the first International Conference of the Israel Teachers Union (ITU), launched in cooperation with Education International (EI), the international organization for teachers worldwide.
According to Piron, a word or attention from an inspiring teacher is what will motivate and accompany a student for life, not the latest technological gadget.
"Education is the universal language shared by everyone - parents, teachers and leaders. Teachers hold a central place, since he who educates children educates generations - this is the educational truth, and so educators are exclusively cultural heroes of society,” said Piron.
The conference, marking 110 years of the ITU, took place Monday and Tuesday at the Dan Carmel Hotel in Haifa surrounding the theme of "education for global citizenship."
Lecturers from Israel and abroad, including some 40 guests from 15 countries, along with hundreds of teachers and educators took part in various sessions on issues challenging education in the 21st century. Among the subjects addressed, gender equality and social justice, promoting democracy in schools, technology in the classroom, privatizing education and curriculum in the age of Wikipedia.
Joseph Wasserman, secretary-general of the ITU, opened the conference on Monday and said, “We are holding the first International Conference of the Teacher's Union, as part of our aspirations to be partners in shaping the image of the state of Israel, of her new citizens, and her future.”
Prominent guests included Professor Georges Haddad, Professor and Honorary President of PANTHEON-SORBONNE University, along with Piron, MK Amram Mitzna (Hatnua), and Professor Yael Tamir, former Education Minister.
"We must be brave and challenge ourselves, and realize that if we work together we, the teachers and educational professionals, have the power to change the world," said Fred van Leeuwen, EI general-secretary.
"I am here to say with all my heart to recognize the Israel Teachers Union as our partner. We welcome you and are ready to face the challenges together,” added Leeuwen.