Raise the bar in cel­e­brat­ing teach­ers

Jamaica Gleaner - - MESSAGES -

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

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