Investing in our teachers

AS teachers around the country marked World Teachers Day yesterday, we should acknowledge the impact they have on the nurturing of our children.

While the day is officially celebrated on October 5 annually, teachers here celebrated it yesterday, marking the theme “Invest in the future, invest in teachers”.

Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said it was “an excellent occasion for people to recognise the dedication and commitment of all teachers who provided educational opportunities for students”.

We must be committed as a nation, he said, to give teachers the support, respect and recognition they deserve.

Teaching, he said, was more than a job. It was a calling.

The theme this year is an apt reminder of the importance of teachers in our lives.

As the minister has pointed out, there are many ways to invest in teachers.

“Our government has shown its commitment to teachers by not only providing them with decent salaries, work condition and opportunity for growth but by also moving to raise the cachet of the profession,” he said.

The huge role teachers play in our lives must be acknowledged.

They actually play an incredible role in helping children be the very best they can be in life.

There are undoubtedly many stories about teachers making a life-long and sometimes life-changing difference in students over the years.

This is a time to acknowledge that.

While there have been reports of indiscretions before, generally teachers will be thanked for many things including aiding in the process to set up students for success in life.

Tomorrow countries around the world will highlight the many positive contributions of these very special people.

In many ways, former students will reminisce about the journey they took through the education process. Many will remember the joys of learning and appreciate what their teachers did for them. They will look back fondly on many episodes of their lives in school and probably now understand why certain things were said and done back then. They are parents away from home for students.

Some will look back with regret, perhaps wondering why they never listened to advice before.

In many little ways, teachers have had an impact in our lives. Great teachers have left indelible marks on the minds of many students around the world.

We live in a world that is ever-changing. With change will come high expectations of the role teachers must play in the future.

We remember them this weekend and hope the State will continue to invest in the future by investing in them.