Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 08:22

Teachers celebrated – City schools show appreciation for ‘most selfless job’ and noble profession

Teaching is rightly referred to as one of the world’s noble professions. Education Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said he cannot think of any religion whose central prophet is not considered as “teacher”, either directly within the respective holy text or at the very least by implication.

“It is certainly one of the most selfless jobs. A teacher is the one professional I can think of whose work involves routinely preparing other people for opportunities that they themselves very often never get to take advantage of,” Dr Roopnaraine said in a message yesterday on the occasion of World Teachers Day.
He said the nursery school teacher who ignites the imagination in a young child is consciously investing in the development of a future great writer or artist or filmmaker.
And the high school biology teacher who refuses to give up on a promising but distracted student is providing the learning experiences that will someday result in the country’s next neurosurgeon.
The Education Minister said that the university lecturer who opens up a doorway into the intricacies and drama of Caribbean history in an eager young mind may be laying the groundwork for a future President of this country.

news 20151006 1“It is perhaps because the work of the teacher is so ubiquitous, so all pervading that we do not recognise how necessary it is and how devastating the consequences of its absence could be,” Dr Roopnaraine stated.
“No one, after all, notices the lung unless it has suffered some grievous injury – education, knowledge, is the oxygen upon which this society will depend for survival and the teaching service is the organ which processes it for our consumption,” he posited.
It is fitting therefore that a day is reserved globally for the recognition of the invaluable contributions teachers make to development, he said.
“That said, appreciation for teachers should go beyond a day of what would otherwise be platitudes, and extend to tangible benefits and systems that facilitate a good life for teachers in recognition of their invaluable work,” Dr Roopnaraine stated.
As Minister of Education, Dr Roopnaraine said he recognises that no effort towards a better education system, and indeed a better society, can be effective without these measures.
As a model for policy, he said we need look no further than the UN Global Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which outlines the following:

  1. good conditions of employment;
  2. good conditions in the work environment;
  3. high-quality pre-and in-service training for teachers;
  4. effective management

These four simple areas of consideration are enough on which to build a solid blueprint and are entirely in keeping with what we aspire to as we seek a fundamental reform of education in Guyana, the Education Minister said.
“I have committed to, and begun, consultation and cooperation with all relevant stakeholders in this regard, including the Guyana Teachers Union, the Teaching Service Commission, my own staff at the ministry, individual teachers, and members of various Parent-Teachers Associations in their communities across the country.
“This is just the beginning of what will be eventually a far more structured approach to feedback and requisite action on teachers’ concerns,” the minister stated.
“Teachers are important. Teacher welfare is important. Every single international framework for development within which we operate underscores these fundamental facts as central to human and social development, whether it is CARICOM, UNASUR, CARIFORUM or UNESCO. The Ministry of Education in Guyana is ready to do its part,” he assured.

“Today, we show our appreciation for teachers with ceremony and speeches – for the rest of the year, we must strive as a government to show our appreciation in less ostentatious but more tangible ways,” the minister 20151006 2
It was HG Wells who famously said: “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe”. As teachers we are challenged to ensure that education wins the race.
Dr Roopnaraine, in his message also recalled an address delivered by Brigadier (rtd) David Granger, to teachers at the CPCE Graduation Ceremony in 2012, in which the now President alluded to the opportunities ahead of us as a nation, stating that these opportunities “can be achieved only by people with a first-class education. They can only be achieved by the creation of an ‘education nation’ that brings all our people together in a knowledge society. They can be achieved only by combining our energies, integrating our communities and working together for the common good, rather than pulling apart. Dark forces – poverty, oppression and hatred – threaten to pull us apart. An education nation ought to be one in which intelligence prevails over ignorance, cooperation over confrontation and national integration over communal disintegration.”


Meanwhile, teachers across all regions of Guyana were shown some form of appreciation by their students as World Teachers’ Day was celebrated worldwide yesterday under the theme, ‘Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies’.
At the North Georgetown Secondary school, students provided their teachers with lunch and a concert to show their appreciation. There was much excitement on the part of teachers as they enjoyed a day of countless appreciation from their students.
“At heart we appreciate our teachers very well and this is a special time of the year that we should give back something to them because they sacrifice a lot for us so that we ace our exams and we are thankful for that,” said Tyron Rhamanohar, Head Prefect of North Georgetown Secondary. Similar sentiments were echoed by students of other schools in Georgetown.
World Teachers’ Day is celebrated to honour all teachers, as they are regarded as the ‘backbone’ of an education system. The day marked the recognition of the hard work and sacrifices teachers have been executing over the years.


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