The advent of Wikipedia, Google, and several online learning institutions is challenging the conventional role of a teacher, who hitherto acted as a “sage on the stage”. Information is literally at the fingertips of learners, nevertheless the challenge of converting it into actionable knowledge still remains. Even artificial intelligence systems today are not advanced enough to replace the human teacher. It is highly likely that several components of teaching delivery may be taken over by technology in the times to come. However the role of a human teacher as a mentor, guide, and researcher is hard to be replaced.
In the current global crisis of Covid-19 pandemic, teachers at all levels of the education systems across the globe face formidable challenges, such as whether to continue in this profession or not, the need to help future generations of citizens develop humanist values, dealing with rapid technological changes that affect their roles, identities and work, freeing themselves and their students from the grip of consumerism fuelled by world markets. In the framework of comparative education, this symposium aims to attract views, experiences and insights from research on the teaching profession from different parts of the world, with an eye on these challenges. It would indeed help in understanding the multi-faceted role of a teacher today and tomorrow (during and after the Covid-19 pandemic) from varied cultural, linguistic, political and geographical perspectives.