‘We Complain About Students, but Fail to Empower Teachers’

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“Don’t let people tell you that you are not important. Teachers deserve to be celebrated, because you continue to mold the minds of our students.” These were the words former Information Minster Emmanuel Z. Bowier, addressing the World Teachers’ Day celebration organized by the National Teachers Association of Liberia on Wednesday, October 5. “We complain that our students are not good but fail to empower the teachers,” he opined, stressing the need to appreciate teachers who continue to impart knowledge in present and future generations.

His remarks were part of a lengthy, extemporaneous oration that was mostly autobiographical, and highlighted the impact teachers – such as his own step-mother – made on his life.

Bowier’s remarks also aptly summed up the theme of the celebration, “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status.”

Other remarks at the World Teachers’ Day celebration stressed the need for government to provide attractive salaries for teachers and encourage them to remain in the system and not leave for greener pastures. In attendance were students, teachers from private schools, as well as University of Liberia (UL) scholarship students.

“GoL through MOE needs to value and improve the status of teachers and education workers by improving their living standard so that they will be respected and considered important in our society,” Mrs. Nyumah recommended to national government.

She called on the government through the Ministry of Education (MOE) to improve the status of teachers and education workers by providing them with good incentives like housing, allowance and transportation to keep them in the classroom and the profession.

Making the case for valuing and improving the status of teachers, Mrs. Nyumah said “We appreciate their efforts and the sacrificial roles they have played and continue to play in molding the minds of young people in society. Despite of the meager salaries they are receiving, they remain committed to their profession.”

She continued, “We value teachers and education workers, because whether rain or shine they brave the storm and remain in the classroom imparting knowledge to our children. We value teachers and education workers, because even in the absence of recognition, they are there sacrificing for the sake of future generations.”

Mrs. Nyumah said they have observed that teachers all around the world are seen as very important people, but regrettably, teachers’ plights are the least regarded in the development agenda of many societies.

“It is important to note that both male and female teachers and administrators need to unite and be aware of each other’s plights and responsibilities so that mutual respect can exist,” he urged.

It therefore becomes necessary as a member of the United Nations (UN) and full-fledged member of the Education International with over 30 million members, that Liberia observes this day, like other teachers organizations, to awaken the spirit and raise the aspiration of hard working teachers in Liberia.

She expressed NTAL’s gratitude to the government and international partners, especially the Education International (EI) and its affiliate members for their continued support to NTAL and the education system of Liberia.

Meanwhile, she called on all members of NTAL, including teachers and education workers to return to the classroom while negotiation on their plights continues with the government through the National Christian Council of Liberia.

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