Teachers as key opinion leaders in communities should always strive to contribute actively in socio-economic activities aiming at addressing urgent ‘human security issues’ in communities where they live.
This was observed on Friday by Gakenke District mayor, Deogratious Nzamwita while addressing hundreds of teachers from different parts of Northern Province at an event to observe the International Teachers’ Day held at the provincial level in Nemba Sector, Gakenke District.
The day, which has been observed annually since 2002, was marked under the theme; “Right to Education means Right Qualified Teacher,” while at the national level it was, “A Professional and Competent Teacher is a Foundation to Quality Education.”
Nzamwita commended the contribution of teachers toward shaping the future of the country through educating children from kindergarten to tertiary education.
The mayor asked the teachers an active involvement in strengthening the human security within their respective area of working for the country to deliver on its different promises to the citizen.
“We today face problems which hinder freedom of our citizens commonly referred to as human security, including children who still suffer from jiggers, hygiene at schools and within the community,” Nzamwita noted.
Gakenke has the second highest stunting rate of preventable stunting in children under five at 46 per cent according to the 2015 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).
However, the mayor believes that stunting can be prevented if teachers use their voices which are likely to be heard largely since they are among the opinion leaders within their communities.
“A stunted child will not perform at school and this hinders the country’s development. Teachers’ assistance in dealing with stunting is very vital because of the respect they command in our communities,” he said.
Rose Baguma, the Director General of Education Planning in the Ministry of Education assured the teachers that the Government will keep doing all it can to ensure their welfare o is improved and continue to build their capacity.
She revealed that Government has already approved Rwf 6.7 billion meant for horizontal promotion of teachers and Rwf 2.2 billion for bonuses, urging schools to apply for both funds.
At the event, best performing teachers at national, provincial, district, sector and school levels were given awards designed to transform their lives, support their daily professional lives, and improve teaching and learning at their respective schools.