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World Teachers Day celebrated

Oct 7, 2016, 11:18 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The Gambia Teachers Union, in partnership with UNESCO /NATCOM and AAITG, on Wednesday 5 October 2016, celebrated the World Teachers’ Day at a ceremony held at Regional Education Directorate RED 1, Kanifing.

The day was celebrated with the theme: “Valuing Teachers improving their status”.

In delivering a statement on the occasion, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE), Baboucarr Bouy, said the day was adopted from the ILO/UNESCO recommendation made in 1996 to recognize the status of teachers all over the world.

He said consequently, through partnership with non-state actors like the Gambia Teachers Union, governments around the world work with teachers organizations to commemorate this day by critically looking at the contribution teachers make in education systems in their respective countries.

“It is therefore fitting for us in The Gambia to also join the rest of the world to celebrate this important day in the lives of teachers,” he said.

He also said that without being judgmental about the way teachers in The Gambia are treated, or attempting to claim success in the manner their status is being “improved” in the country, “one would only need to cast one mind some fifteen years back to realize how much the status of teachers has improved in the Gambian society during this period”.

PS Bouy also indicated that from both the policies formulated by the government and the activities undertaken by the education sector, the involvement of teachers and their representatives is critical thus creating the space for genuine partnership and participation.

PS Bouy reiterated the ministry’s commitment to consolidating their long-standing working relationship and the good practices shared in relation to “valuing our teachers”.

“Without doubt, this relationship can only go from strength to strength. As a sector we will continue to prioritize the investment on teacher education and welfare with a view to improving teachers’ quality in our education system,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Lamin Jarju, programme officer of UNESCO, read the joint message from the Agency’s heads  on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the 1996 UNESCO/oil  recommendation  concerning the status of teachers, saying “On World Teachers’ Day  we celebrate the limitless contributions made by teachers around the world”.

He said: “Day after day, year in and year out, these dedicated women and men guide the accompanying students through the world of learning, helping them discover and fulfill their potential. 

“In doing so, teachers not only help shape the individual future of millions of children, they also help shape a better world for all.”

He added that to achieve universal primary education by 2030, “we need 24.4 million more teachers”. The number is even greater for secondary education with 44.4 million secondary teachers needed, he said.

He also stated that fifty years today, these principles were laid down in the landmark 1966 UNESCO/ILO recommendation concerning the status of teachers, which resulted in the first international-standard- setting instruments on teachers.

“Since that day,” he noted, “we have made tremendous progress in elevating the status of teachers – but far more work remains to be done.

“We dedicate World Teachers Day 2016 to celebrating this milestone by reaffirming our commitment to the standards and aspiration it represents and by redoubling our effort to achieve them.”

Speakers on the occasion included the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, and the president of GTU.