Raise the bar in celebrating teachers
HAPPY WORLD Teachers’ Day to you. Once again, it is our pleasure to unite with the millions of our colleagues worldwide in commemorating the work and value of teachers, the foot solders of global human development. Established in 1994, over 100 countries recognise October 5 each year as a day to celebrate the bedrock of modern societies — our teachers. This year’s commemoration represents a significant symbol of the consciousness, understanding and admiration illustrated for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development. All well-thinking and forward moving nations, including Jamaica, are being invited to participate in some way in celebrating the thousands of teachers, past and present, in Jamaica, the Caribbean region and further afield who have gone beyond the call of duty to nurture the world’s children in their personal development. The effort of these nation builders go far beyond just personal development. It is also their task to ensure that our children are properly socialised to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to make the best choices in their daily lives, as well as to guarantee a solid preparation to become tomorrow’s leaders, adequately qualified with the competencies for gainful employment.
This year, World Teachers Day is being celebrated against the theme ‘Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status’. This theme ideally and strategically captures the JTA’s theme for this conference year, ‘Celebrating Teachers, Informing, Inspiring, Impacting’.
The contribution of teachers to the development of our society can never be overstated or undervalued. Many stories of sacrifice and inspiration
go untold about the immense influence of Jamaican teachers, of how value is added to the lives of children, of how we rescued children from hunger, of how we have rescued students from a life of crime and decadence. As a country, we must continue our efforts to raise the bar in celebrating our teachers, as teachers are the vanguards of sustained transformation.
As the strongest and the leading teachers’ union in the Caribbean, we commend the efforts of respective governments and the private sector for the efforts made to improve the lives and conditions of work of our teachers. Despite these efforts, we remain resolute that far more can be done by all parties to cement the work and worth of the nation’s teachers. As we celebrate World Teachers’ Day, let us celebrate with our teachers. The JTA will remain a pacesetter and, without doubt, a leading voice on educational issues and be the regional benchmark for teacher membership organisations; setting standards of excellence in service delivery and commitment to national development through education. We continue to remind our colleagues to be the consummate professionals and not to be daunted by the challenges and difficulties being faced in the sector. In fact, we encourage them to be resolute and resilient as our role is paramount in elevating the country’s educational output.
On this special day and the ensuing days, may I urge all well-thinking Jamaican to do more than just mention our teachers in a passive way, but rather find meaningful means of reminding them and showing your appreciation of how impactful they are or have been to you or your families.
Let’s raise the bar. Let’s unite for a better cause, for service, for the 21st century and beyond.
Happy World Teachers’ Day to you!
HOWARD R ISAACS President Jamaica Teachers’ Association