The teachers’ day celebration is an annual event done in honour of the teachers. Who is a teacher and what does he do? A teacher is someone who teaches; specifically one whose occupation is to teach others. By this it means a teacher’s job is to impact knowledge to others. He aids and guides the teaching and learning processes. For a meaningful and qualitative teaching exercise to hold, the teacher must be involved. The teacher’s role is to teach who? He teaches the students and guides them to a meaningful and successful adulthood. They do the in house loco-parenting. Therefore the teacher is a pillar in the school system that cannot be toiled with. No wonder, John Dewey explains the interplay between teaching and learning. He said unless there is teaching there is no learning just as there is no buying without selling. So also the role of the teacher is to the students. Minus the students there will be no teacher just as there will be no student minus the teacher.
No matter who you are and what you are doing at one time or the other, you might have passed through a training process directly or indirectly. There is no one on earth that has no teacher. No, not one!
This goes to say that teachers are of importance to the growth and development of our society. Whatever we enjoy or suffer today in the society is an attribute of the teachers’ impact positively or negatively. Since their influence means so much to us, we need a special avenue to at least say a big thank you and well done to this societal guidance.
We have two types of teacher; the born and made teachers. How do they contribute to societal growth? Both the good and bad teacher leave the landmark for his students and followers to herald. Therefore the integrity of the teacher goes a long way to posit his personality. Do you think there is any need for the teacher to be appreciated?
Appreciation is a thing that everybody needs. When you work and at the end you are told thank you for a good job well done you feel happy. Is that a fact? If it is true, is teacher’s day worth it? For a day to be set aside for Teachers is an indication that their contribution is recognized in the society and worldwide.
Be that as it may, it would be a thing of joy to know to what extent this day is been celebrated in the world. It is pertinent to note that it differs from nation to nation depending on the value each of these nations place on education. For the sake of this write up, I am going to concentrate mainly on the Nigeria phase of this exercise.
Teachers’ day is a day set aside in honour of the effortless services rendered by the teachers to the society worldwide. It is a day meant to appraise them for service delivery. Hence, every 5th of October every year is set aside in commemoration of their services to the world.
On the fateful Wednesday 5th October 2011, some of the schools in Nigeria observed that day in their honour while others failed to identify with it. They told their wards that that day is ‘Teachers Day’, but all the same they should be in school. Had these people no knowledge of it, then the situation would had been a different one. But now they are quite knowledgeable of the day but vehemently violated its observance. What should be done to them? Are such schools administrators not supposed to be proscribed?
Thank God that it is an annual event that is celebrated yearly. That of Friday October 5th 2012 witnessed a little difference with higher degree of compliance to its observance. Whether private or public school, it must be noted that this day is highly of importance to this sector. To those we love we appreciate them. If truly, the worth of our teachers means anything to us, we need to celebrate them.
How are teachers treated? The welfare of the teacher is treated to a high extent with levity. Agreements are reached but breached with utmost impunity. Before this administration, teachers were one of the least paid workers in the nation. Though, the implementation of the new minimum wage moved them up a little. Even at that what the teacher still receives is not commensurate with what his contemporary receives in other parastatals or ministries. These monies are not paid regularly as well. This is not far from the reason why teachers go on strike almost all the time.
To authenticate this is the refusal of some states to pay the agreed 27% of the teachers’ allowance. Is it not denigrating to decline on an agreement reached? ASSU strike, is it not on the same neglect and reckless abandonment of decisions and plans that call for strike?
The welfare of teacher is supposed to be one of the major concerns of the stakeholders. But this is treated with levity. As they celebrate their day, one expects that they will be able to articulate their position rightly so that the government will pander to their taste.
The “National Award” since its inception, has it feature any teacher’s name among the honoured people? Does it mean that teachers are not eligible to partake in such award? Or could it be that no teacher has done meritoriously well to receive an award from the nation? By the way what are the criteria used. For a balanced award, the teacher who is the role model should also be given a fair place in terms of these awards. Though, teachers are not so rich but with their worth of knowledge and service rendition they should be remembered and considered.
If the society does its part, what is expected from the teacher is a proactive approach to teaching that will be dynamic and qualitative? Strike whether active or passive then would be extinct. Whether we like it or not strike has destroyed the major parts of this nation’s educational system.
The teachers’ worth should be looked into and refresher courses be organized for them. The quality of teaching is on the decline because of the orientation our teachers have. Also they should be treated fairly like their contemporaries in other ministries. The demands of teachers to develop qualitative and dynamic school system for now have not been met but efforts have been made in order to put things right. Most schools as at now lack the basic infrastructural amenities for effective teaching and learning process.
As we celebrate the teachers, we as well use the opportunity to charge them to live up to the requisite standards and expectations the nation expects from them. This day as well should be used by the teachers to evaluate their work and intensify effort on areas not commensurate with the standards set.
Both government and the teacher should realize that the quality of time and work given to the students would definitely make a difference in their lives. They should be paid promptly and other allowances due to them should as well be paid. The curriculum should be revisited and proactive measures put in place.
Finally, all the stake holders in this life wire of the nation should come together and looked at it critically with a view to provide a lasting solution to it. There should be reward and motivation for staff in order to spur them. The curriculum should reflect students’ interest and development. Bravo! Happy teachers’ day! Let’s do it again next year in grand style.
WRITTEN BY IFIDON BENSON