The International Teachers Day falls on every 5th day of October. The global celebration was carved out in 1994 to celebrate the essence and importance of teachers at both lower and higher institutions of learning.
On a day like this, the countries of the world are expected to appreciate the presence of teachers who largely contribute to the learning and character molding of both past present and future generations.
The theme of this year’s International Teachers Day is Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers.
Teachers render a priceless service to humanity. In Africa for instance, education cannot be said to be key if there are are no instructors to impact the knowledge.
In Africa for instance, education cannot be said to be key if there are are no instructors to impart the knowledge.
The aim of the international teachers day is to mobilize support for teachers by keenly addressing their rights and responsibilities.
This implies that the welfare and duties of teachers directly affect the general academic/intellectual capacity of the growing generation who serve as the major beneficiaries of the altruistic profession.
In other words, we can say that the outlook of posterity will reflect what the students are fed today in the four walls of a classroom.
This leads to questions such as- How well do we value our teachers? What is the actual worth of these teachers?
For the first question, teachers have one of the most sensitive duties in the society. A teacher can come in many forms. It is anyone who plays the role of an instructor, trainer and an educator. Anyone who imparts knowledge to another is a teacher.
Teachers have the sole and special ability to give individuals something that no one can ever take from them. In their own respect, they are leaders and life shapers.
Aside from the agricultural sector, education is the area most African governments are investing in. We can definitely say this is a step in the right direction.
However, the move will not be complete if the teachers who make formal education happen are relegated to the background. In some areas, they are overworked and underpaid. When this is the case, the quality of what goes on in the classroom is jeopardized.
This is where the government comes in. They can help improve the state of teachers. While government officials who do little or nothing earn in millions, this group of unnoticed heroes earns peanuts. Adding to that, their earnings are sometimes delayed for outrageous period of times with no justification.
In a country like Nigeria where this awful trend is visible, teaching becomes a last resort for the unemployed.
While nothing can ever square off to the value of their work, the teaching profession can be incentivized by at least making the fiscal pay reasonable.
The second question still stresses on the negative effects of undermining the teaching profession. How would we know who qualifies to be a teacher if we do not even understand the usefulness of the job?
It is no news that some teachers lack the basic qualification to educate young minds. Mediocrity makes us settle for less.
So, as we mark the 2017 International Teachers Day, it will be worth it if the government and private school owners can go back to the drawing board and paint a better picture for the sake of tomorrow.
Today an international conference will take place at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris.
Participants will include government representatives, pro-education and teachers organizations, teachers, policy-makers, trainers, private sectors, NGOs and teaching enthusiasts.
According to UNESCO, these are the objectives of the conference:
- To celebrate and highlight the contribution of teachers, from pre-primary through to higher education, to the education and development of our future citizens.
- To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Recommendation concerning Higher-Education Teaching Personnel.
- To discuss the issue of quality in higher education teaching and what this means for quality teaching at all levels of education in light of achieving SDG 4 on inclusive and quality education for all.
- To showcase and discuss progress and persistent challenges in higher education such as institutional autonomy, academic freedom, and professional development of higher-education teaching personnel.