Editor's Comment

Hats off to teachers

IT is only a day after teachers celebrated their day – World Teachers’ Day. Indeed, they had everything to celebrate as they looked back on their achievements.
We salute them for their tremendous achievements. Everyone who has passed through a teacher’s hands is in their station because of the teacher.
We all look back and say we know things around us because our teachers did their best. They taught us how to read and write, how to add sums or subtract numbers.
They were there for us whether in the classroom or outside. They have helped shape the way we talk, the way we reason and the way we look at and analyse issues.
Little wonder when a child goes against its parents’ advice, it will always say, “but teacher said……..” Children hold teachers in high esteem and whatever the latter say is taken seriously by a child.
We are all proud of our teachers because of what they put in to make us what we are today. Their contribution to national development cannot be overlooked. It is hats off to teachers.
While we take off our hats for them, we should not forget the difficulties teachers find themselves in. To start with, their conditions are not the best. For most of them, they have persevered for the love of what they do.
We have heard of teachers who have lived in classrooms because they have no accommodation. Imagine a father, mother and children, and all their belongings squeezed in a classroom, which is meant to accommodate 40 pupils?
Accommodation for teachers remains a vexing issue and there is need to solve this problem to make the work enjoyable for teachers.
Teachers are further demotivated by lack of equipment and teaching materials in schools. They can only do so much and government has to make the work situation conducive to their service delivery.
Teachers in rural areas face their own kind of difficulties. Those who live far from towns serviced with banks have to cover long distances every month-end to get their hard-earned money. It is also from such towns they have to buy groceries and this is why lessons are often disrupted so they attend to their personal needs.
In some cases, when teachers are recruited, they take long to begin to receive their salaries and the poor souls are expected to stand in front of the children every day and teach.
But we cannot overlook some of the ways in which some teachers have failed to uphold the ethics of their profession.
There have been a number of incidents where teachers have defiled girl-children. For some of these girls, they have been denied a chance to fulfil their dreams and become what they had always envisaged.
Some teachers have been involved in examination malpractices. They have joined those who have thrown away their senses to leak examination papers to pupils in examination classes.
In some schools, authorities conduct open day, when parents and teachers are supposed to confer on the progress of their children. In a number of instances, these occasions do not fulfil the intended purpose because some of the teachers who should give the right information are not available. They assign their juniors to take up their roles as class teachers.
Beer drinking is another scourge that the teaching profession should aim to stem. The few teachers who form drinking parties with school boys and girls should be uprooted from the teaching ranks.
On the whole, we salute teachers who are working towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal Number 2, the Sixth National Development Plan and national development. Their contribution is always enormous and it is once again ‘hats off’ to them and we hope they enjoyed their day.

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