Friday, October 5th is celebrated worldwide as International Teachers’ Day. I hope that our teachers are enjoying their mid-term break this week, and that they will be showered with good wishes and tokens of appreciation from their students and from the community.
In the twelve months after hurricane Irma, the country relied on our educators to provide the pillars that would re-build our nation, and return stability and a sense of normalcy to our children’s lives. Every day you came out to work with our children, looking after their total wellbeing. You were the ones trusted to ensure that those with parents who had suddenly becoming jobless, and many whose homes were roofless, or families that were completely displaced, had their needs attended. This, many of you teachers did, while coming from your own roofless homes, or lacking electricity and running water. You taught us by demonstrated example, the definition of RESILIENCE.
You rose above the challenges and the seemingly insurmountable odds to bring us into this phase of our recovery. Last school year ended with celebrations of the achievements of our students as they were promoted and graduated, because you, teachers, went the extra two miles to help them succeed. This school year began with smiling faces, willing hearts and eager minds, though some of you are still not settled at home nor have all the repairs been completed on the job.
We know that you too require support and I gratefully recognise the colleagues in Social Work/Care Departments, Administrative staff, management teams and school boards who supported our teachers through their challenges. As the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, I am committed to seeing the repairs completed in the shortest possible time, and the continued improvement in the teaching-learning environment. Because of you, we can say assuredly that WE ARE OVERCOMING TOGETHER!
On behalf of the entire Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, I thank you, teachers, for all the work that you have done. You have answered a call to a most noble profession. As you continue to serve as parent, counselor, nurse, mentor, cheerleader, mediator, handwriting expert, organizer, fundraiser…and the list goes on and on…, we thank you for the personal sacrifices that you make to build the next generation of leaders. You are the builders of the country’s future. Your impact goes beyond your classroom and touches the society and ultimately…the universe! TEACHERS…WE SALUTE YOU!
The Department of Education will be hosting an event to celebrate and honour our teachers, later, during this month. One day dedicated to you is only a token of our appreciation. You, teachers, are to be celebrated every day as the successful development of each person, our community and the world begins with you.
Happy International Teacher's Appreciation Day!
Hon. Wycliffe Smith, MA, M.Ed
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport