I remember a time when I thought my parents were all knowing and had all the answers. For a three year old child, it was pretty hard to imagine anyone who could be any wiser than the two people who were at the centre of my world.
It was very shocking to me when I started going to school and I discovered that my parents were actually not experts on everything. The first time I ever said… “I don’t think that’s the right answer,” nearly felt like treason. However, by the time I was 5, I could be heard passionately proclaiming, “But my teacher said so!” I guess my parents realised I had a new hero to adore and gently stepped aside.
Teachers have a great influence on our lives. I imagine that it has taken a great deal of patience over the years for a lot of my teachers to make a literate person out of me! I hated reading and I hated maths even more but, with patience and a few hours in the naughty corner, I guess I turned out alright.
October 5th was celebrated all over the world as teacher’s day and I found myself thinking of the important role teachers play in literally every person’s life. Every great person has sat at the feet of a teacher, yet it is saddening to note that teachers are among some of the worst paid workers in the world. For people who are underpaid, unappreciated and governed under a tight reign of bureaucracy, their contribution to society cannot be overlooked. One day in the year will not pay back what is due to our teachers, but I hope it is a start to show that their hard work is appreciated.
Zambia has the problem of a higher student ratio when compared to teachers and this often means a teacher has too many children to attend to in one class and cannot give them all the attention they need.
Speaking at a function in Lusaka on World Teachers’ day, Zambia’s Minister of Education Dora Siliya admitted that sustainable development can only be achieved when more resources are invested in teachers. Ms Siliya also said that Government intends to employ 7,000 teachers in 2011 to balance the pupil- teacher ratio. Hopefully we will see this happening in the near future. Like one teacher said, without teachers, new classrooms and new textbooks are useless.
I will end with my favourite quote about teachers:“A good teacher is like a candle — it consumes itself to light the way for others.” Author Unknown
NOTE: 5th October was a day to celebrate teachers and the central role they play in guiding children, youths and adults through the life-long learning process. This year’s World Teachers’ Day focused on the role of teachers within the context of the global financial and economic crisis and the need to invest in teachers now as a means to secure post-crisis regeneration. This year’s theme was, “RECOVERY BEGINS WITH TEACHERS.”
Posted by Nambeye Katebe