Dear Future Wife: I am Ojisi, Nwa Ticha.

03:21

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‘Teachers lead the motivation charge, helping people to unleash their passion and bear true gifts to the world.’ OjisiEmezie

Dear Future Wife,

I come from the family of illustrous teachers on both sides of the family. It is such things that make me act like an onye nkuzi even though a few people know me as nwa ticha. It was Bill Gates who once said, "Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important. Nne m, I find that statement very true especially as Today is Teachers Day!

Yeah! Uto m,  I love teachers not just because 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.You see, for me, it comes naturally, so when you people call me oversabi, know that they referring to the teacher instincts in me working.
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Baby, The theme for this year is “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”, echoing the 2015 theme that followed the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)(link is external) in September 2015, when teacher empowerment was reaffirmed as a top priority in all education and development strategies Last year the theme was 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.
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Darling, the age long maxim 'teachers reward are in heaven' have become a dangerous philosophy, a breeding ground for contempt and the trivialization of the role of teachers. This leads to the further enslavement of teachers going by the non-provision of conducive environment, the dearth of modern teaching aids added to the backlog of salaries owed them. It was William Arthur Ward who once wrote “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”. This is what an absence of empowerment and lack of freedom causes.

Sweetheart, do you that according to UNESCO website, , World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually worldwide and brings together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, teachers and experts in the field of teaching. With the adoption of SDG 4 on education, and the dedicated target 4.c recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda, it has become the occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession, like the acute shortage of teachers. Indeed, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the world needs 69 Million teachers if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.

It is he who hasn't been taught before that would not be grateful go for the lessons of life as presented to us by teachers. Every day, 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."

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The teacher can only teach in freedom if we value them and provide the necessary facilities needed for effective teaching. The only way we can empower them is to allow them tell the right stories by leveraging on the beauty of history in explaining the present and predicting the future. This where the joint statement by UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF, UNDP and Education International is quite poignant.

Here it is;

Teachers are a critical foundation of every society’s long-term strength -- providing children, young people and adults with the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their potential.  But around the world, far too many teachers don’t have the freedom and support they need to do their vitally important jobs. That is why the theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day –“Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers” – reaffirms the value of empowered teachers and recognizes the challenges many encounter in their professional lives across the globe.

Being an empowered teacher means having access to high-quality training, fair wages, and continuous opportunities for professional development. It also means having the freedom to support the development of national curricula -- and the professional autonomy to choose the most appropriate methods and approaches that enable more effective, inclusive and equitable education. Furthermore, it means being able to teach in safety and security during times of political change, instability, and conflict.

But in many countries, academic freedom and teacher autonomy are under pressure. For example, at the primary and secondary school levels in some countries, stringent accountability schemes have put enormous pressure on schools to deliver results on standardized tests, ignoring the need to ensure a broad-based curriculum that meets the diverse needs of students.

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Academic freedom is critical for teachers at every level of education, but it is especially critical for higher-education teachers, supporting their ability to innovate, explore, and stay up-to-date on the latest pedagogical research. At the tertiary level, teachers are often employed on a fixed-term, contingency basis. This in turn can result in greater job insecurity, diminished career prospects, higher workload and lower wages – all of which can restrict academic freedom and undermine the quality of education that teachers can deliver.

Across all education levels, political pressure and business interests can curb the ability of educators to teach in freedom. Teachers living and working in countries and communities affected by conflicts and instability often face greater challenges, including rising intolerance, discrimination, and related restrictions on research and teaching.

This year marks the 20 year anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, which complements the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. Together, these instruments constitute the main reference framework on the rights and responsibilities of teachers and educators. Both stress the importance of teacher autonomy and academic freedom in building a world in which education and learning are truly universal.

As the world works together to realize the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals, we appeal to our partners in governments and across the education and private sectors to commit to building a highly skilled, valued and empowered education workforce. This constitutes a critical path to realizing SDG 4, which envisions a world in which every girl, boy, woman and man has access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.

This means securing decent working conditions and fair wages for all teachers including at the tertiary level. It means providing teachers with training and development. It means increasing the number of quality teachers, especially in those countries with high numbers of untrained teaching personnel. It means removing unnecessary restrictions on research and teaching and defending academic freedom at all education levels.

Finally, it means raising the status of teachers around the world in a way that honors and reflects the impact they have on the strength of society.  This World Teachers’ Day, join us in empowering teachers to teach in freedom so that, in turn, every child and every adult is free to learn – to the benefit of a better world.

I would love to hear you thoughts on how we can improve the status of our teachers, how can empower them, and how they can teach in freedom.

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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. Today, the world celebrates the amazing roles Teachers play in shaping our lives and in building great minds. On days like this, I remember my mother for she gave 33 years of her life in molding Characters! Odiro ofele i bu onye nkuzi! 

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.

We celebrate you!

OjisiEmezie


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