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If you can write your name, thank your teacher.
Hurray, it’s time to celebrate our unspoken heroes, those who are extremely important in our lives–our teachers.  A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart. This entails that the role of a teacher is to inspire hope, ignite imagination and instill love. The efforts of these great individuals are so enormous that it should take more than a day to celebrate them. Today, 5th October, is World Teachers’ Day, a day to celebrate teachers. The day was set aside by UNESCO since 1994 to celebrate teachers and the central role they play in the life-long learning process. It’s a surprise though, that teachers are the least catered for in the society, what with their salaries at the barest minimum. Many are underemployed as they are forced to take a job that is lower than their qualification, hence, they have no passion for the role they are assigned to. Other teachers take the job as a result of unemployment and since they’re not trained, end up making matters worse. Back in the days, the teaching profession was an entity of pride as most would love to be associated with teachers, but now the colleges of education have become a laughing stock in the nation as they are made to compete unfairly with their counterparts at the universities studying educational related courses. Some, even after the successful completion of their programs, reapply for a university degree in order to remain socially relevant. The popular maxim that “a teacher’s reward is in heaven” has made it extremely difficult for the society to show respect to the teachers. Most people would argue that since they are paid their salaries, there is no need of any token of appreciation to the teachers.  The parents or guardians retort these claims while forgetting that their ward/child is kept in custody of these individuals for the better part of their lives. The poor state of their salary forces a lot of teachers to look for other endeavors to augment their salary so as to sustain their families and themselves and they get into other businesses that shift their focus from their roles. It’s also important to note the role of the school authorities in engaging the teachers. Due to the capitalist mode of operation in Nigeria, the most school managements are influenced by anything that provides profit The teachers are asked to engage in activities which are most times against the principle of the teaching profession. For example, teachers are asked to aid students in the examination hall; falsify results, among other things. Honestly, teachers need encouragement and support from both individuals and the government so as to feel that their efforts are being recognized. Join us in saying well done to all our teachers today and always. Happy teacher’s day!

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This article was first published on 5th October 2017


Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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