Quality teacher equals quality education

Editorial

EVERY year, the world marks World Teachers Day on Oct 5, which was yesterday, where everyone celebrates the limitless contributions made by teachers around the world.
Day after day, year in and year out, these dedicated women and men guide and accompany students through the world of learning, helping them discover and fulfil their potential.
In doing so, teachers not only help shape the individual futures of millions of children; they help shape a better world for all as well.
The 2030 agenda for sustainable development makes this critical connection between education and development.
By adopting sustainable development goal 4, world leaders pledged to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
This goal cannot be achieved unless we increase the supply of qualified teachers and empower them to be agents of educational change in the lives of the students they teach.
How can we recruit these new teachers and attract them to the vital profession of teaching when around the world, so many teachers are undertrained, underpaid and undervalued?
Many teachers still work with inadequate contracts and pay.
They often live in difficult conditions and lack appropriate initial training, continuous professional development and consistent support.
They are sometimes victims of discrimination and even violent attacks.
Teaching could be an attractive, first-choice profession – if teachers were valued commensurate with the immense value they provide to our children and if their professional status as educators reflected the enormous impact their profession has on our shared future.
That means providing them with continuous training and development to support them in their critical role of educating all children, in all contexts – including the poorest, most remote communities and in communities in crisis.
It means compensating them properly and giving them the tools they need to do their indispensable jobs.
It means putting in place policies that safeguard and reinforce the status of teachers – beginning by giving teachers a place at the table and an active role in decision-making that affects their work. It means improving the efficiency and effectiveness of education systems at every level.
The equation here is “quality teachers equals quality education”.
You cannot get the best students to give you the evidence or testimony of quality education if you do not have well-trained teachers.
Teaching is one of the most complicated jobs today.
It demands broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum, and standards; enthusiasm, a caring attitude, and a love of learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques; and a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people.
If we must add, teaching should not be considered as simply a job but a dedication. A good teacher is one who wishes to share, contribute, to develop good characters.
A teacher probably spends more time with a child than a parent so has a strong influence. He/she often becomes a mentor.
If the education authorities believe this, then they must ensure that teachers and the teaching profession get adequate support.
Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his/her teacher.
Education Minister Jimmy Uguro, in his message to teachers, said training and development of teachers will continue to be a core priority for his Government.
This means, offering high-quality training to more students in teachers college and offering existing teachers professional development.

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