In Praise of Teachers. Why we must value our teachers


The need to consciously build a new cadre of leaders and followers is ever so strong at this time. Socialization is one best means of transferring knowledge and keeping education alive and creating more literate people.

Education in itself is a journey and not a destination. Literacy only helps to ignite the flames of education and set us on a part of endless learning and discovery.

"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important." Bill Gates

Today is Teachers Day!


I love teachers not just because my Mum was a teacher for 33 years before she retired and died why waiting for her entitlements, or because she came from a family of illustrious teachers, but because of how important the teacher is.

The theme for this year is *Valuing Teachers, Improving Their Status*. This theme is quite apt not only for the Nigerian society but also it best speaks to the African continent. It is so because here, teachers are not valued as much as education is.

The age long maxim "teachers reward are in heaven" has become for us, a dangerous philosophy, a breeding ground for the cultivation of the culture of  contempt and the trivialization of the role of teachers in the development of our world.

Well, this isn't new when we consider that even Jesus' authority was questioned, his teachings contested. But it does not embolden us to disregard our teachers; to dishonor their sacrifices and take their commitments to inspiring and motivating us to becoming better people for granted.

It is he who hasn't been taught before that would not be grateful go r the lessons of life. In the words of Simone Weil "The most important part of teaching is to teach what it is to know." Teachers teach, thereby igniting the spark of curiosity which leads to further learning.

It was William Arthur Ward who once wrote “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”.

Teachers, lead the motivation charge, helping people to unleash their passion and bear true gifts to the world. To every profession, a teacher is responsible. To the many success and ingenuity recorded in our World today, the hand of the teacher is visible.

Everyday, the teacher pours herself as a libation for us to become better people. Maria Montessori puts it well "It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it."

If the teacher does this, then we can't we value them and then improve their status?

I believe teachers can help us promote access to better quality education but first, these things need be put in place.

1.  Conducive learning environment.

Teachers must be encouraged with the right tools to facilitate learning. It is appalling to note that some teachers despite the heavy workload, still undertake job of ensuring that things are put in place. The teacher though part of the policy making process shouldn't be distracted by it.

2. Teacher Training and Modern Pedagogy.

Education administrators must commit to a continuous investment in research and development in the sector. Teacher training is important in other to acquaint teachers with current trends in teaching methods. Unfortunately, in many cases teachers pay for themselves in these cases the fees are exorbitant. If governments in Africa can invest 26% of their annual budget to the education sector, then we can begin to attract more revenue from education tourism just like Finland, UK and USA.

3. Involvement of Teachers in policy making and implementation.

An African adage has it that "you cannot shave a man's head in his absence". A nation that wants to succeed in education must learn to not politicize it. Teachers must be included in the policy process from start to finish.

These said, I support;

I.   Better pay for teachers
II.  Insurance policy for them
III. More Funding for our education sector
IV. Continuous teacher training programs.
V.  Re-orientation of the society on the importance of teachers by the government. 


Take out some time today and say a prayer  of appreciation and thanksgiving to all those who made you learn, relearn and unlearn.

To all teachers out there, may God bless you with all the wisdom, knowledge and understanding together with the strength you need to build people.

Let me end this with the words of Alexander the Great "I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.". 


I would love to hear you thoughts on how we can improve the status of our teachers.

God bless all teachers!


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