Education remains a very important foundation on which the base of any nation is established. Education not only shows the right path that the students should follow but also prepares the human resource for further development of the nation.
It has a great impact in moulding of the current and successive generations. It is indispensable, especially in today’s world where getting on in life requires a good education.
From ancient times, teachers have been playing this crucial role of enabling us acquire relevant education in our society. This is from the times classrooms were not in existence and teaching was a preserve of elders.
The word ‘teaching’ meant providing knowledge and guidance to both the young and old people of society. Those who went against what they were taught found themselves taking wrong turns in life.
Today, many educationists have described a ‘teacher’ in different ways. Some describe them as a dispenser of knowledge, while others see the teacher as a leader – holding to the ancient roles, counsel or coach, facilitator and a role model.
Whatever description one would want to use, the underlying issue still remains that the teacher plays a lead role in determining the future of society.
Through teaching, the next generation of skilled professionals and workers like politicians, engineers, doctors, policemen, priests, educators, legislators and good citizens are prepared.
Teaching, therefore, can be considered as a means for which God uses a teacher as an instrument to touch lives. As Alexander the Great once said, “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”
Teaching has even become more complex today, keeping in mind the increasing trend of both parents working long hours, a teacher now doubles-up in providing moral and emotional support to our young ones.
They instil the transcendent faculties of communication, decision making and awareness of social responsibilities on our behalf. They play this extraordinary part in the lives of these children from the formative years of a child’s mental development.
Even as grown-ups, no matter which field we choose to pursue, we again turn to teachers for training. Our careers continuously demand a strong information base and well developed capabilities of comprehension and analysis for progress or promotions.
These crucial responsibilities of inculcating more knowledge, kindling inspiration and encouraging creative thought are all vested in the teacher or that lecturer at the University where we go for higher qualifications.
It is worthwhile noting that some of these great teachers or lecturers were the cause of political and industrial revolutions around the world. Their vision and wisdom helped various societies to gain self-sufficiency and financial freedom. I often wonder about teachers who educated famous people such as Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and other great personalities.
Contrary to this, teachers are almost one of the unhappiest lots in terms of remunerations. It is disappointing when teachers can be pushed to the point of agitating for a pay rise.
Take, for instance, Kenya where learning was paralyzed for almost five weeks as teachers downed their tools demanding for better pay.
The same scenario was being experienced in one of the states in the US, which also lasted for days with educators expressing their discontent of their terms of service. Ironically, the incumbent policy and decision makers are products of these hard working instructors.
Let us take this example, that it is not a surprise to say, there is one teacher who taught a pilot flying high in the skies and still rides on a bicycle to and from the school he teaches to date, after some decades in service.
Teachers’ golden hands must be appreciated at all costs. Investing in teachers and supporting their endeavours is key in improving the education sector. We need to motivate them in whatever way possible.
World Teacher’s Day, as celebrated on October 5 every year since 1994, promotes and creates conscience of the importance educators have in the future of every generation. This day is observed worldwide to show appreciation and highlight the many contributions of the teaching profession. But how many take an initiative to give back to their teachers?
This month in Rwanda, the event was celebrated at Kimisagara One-Stop Employment Centre in Kigali under the theme, “Empowering teachers, building sustainable society.”
Thanks to government efforts, the Umwalimu SACCO and other co-operatives allow our teachers to access credit facilities; their overall welfare needs to include mechanisms of improved remunerations as well.
Even though each profession occupies a specific niche in our society, teaching stands out as a focal one. It is not just a profession but a calling and an obligatory moral duty, undertaken by golden-hearted men and women who have propelled us to where we are today.
Owing to the fact that Rwanda expect a lot more in terms of achieving high education standards, initiatives of empowering our tutors must be embraced by everyone. Let us celebrate and empower our teachers!