Education Department joins the world in celebrating teachers on World Teachers Day.
The 5th of October is World Teacher’s day, a day set aside to show appreciation to educators globally as well as to raise awareness and understanding on the work and value of teachers.
Under this year’s theme, “Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies”, we as the Department of Basic Education recognise and appreciate the contribution of teachers in the greater development of South African society and its work-force.
Indeed, the building of sustainable societies can only be achieved through the empowerment of teachers, as they are the very individuals that lay the critical foundation of a learner’s life, educating, training and developing them to becoming well- grounded and valuable adults in later life. For the mere fact that we can read, write and articulate ourselves well, we should thank a teacher. We as a department have seen the value and importance of honouring and empowering teachers and have taken great strides in doing so.
The progress that we have made in all international tests is attributable to our dedicated and hard-working teachers. We have also provided 80 out of 140 teacher Centres with ICT. These Centres provide teachers among others with a self-diagnostic tool to identify gaps in their competences to inform their development programmes.
Subject committees and Professional Learning Communities galvanize teachers to make a meaningful contribution in improving the quality of our education. Through the Presidential Remuneration Review Commission government remain committed to paying special attention in improving conditions of service for teachers.
From 2015 onward the recognition of teachers will be wider, holistic, and yearlong and includes areas that affect teachers as people and professionals. In August the Department of Basic Education launched the Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme (TASP). The programme hopes to achieve improved teachers’ morale which will lead to greater commitment to the school’s overall healthy environment.
It is also hoped that this Programme will help attract qualified teachers and to positively affect productivity and efficiency amongst the other objectives. In celebrating the teachers for their important role of shaping the minds and futures of South Africa’s past, present and future generations, TASP will focus on celebrating teachers every day culminating in a seminar at the end of October, the month in which we celebrate World Teachers Day.
Teacher development is one of the major focus areas in this current term of office. This will include various policy reviews including conditions of service, teacher recruitment, deployment, utilisation and development, including their general professional development.
Conceptualised and launched in 2000 by the Department, the National Teaching Awards acknowledge the extraordinary efforts made by the teachers, often in very difficult conditions to service our children particularly those in disadvantaged communities.
Our objectives in hosting the National Teacher’s Awards include:
Focusing public attention on the positive aspects of Basic Education, there by raising the public image of the teaching profession. Recognising and promoting excellence in teaching performance. Honouring dedicated, creative and effective teachers and schools. Encouraging best practice in schools. Affording South Africans the opportunity to publicly say “thank you” to all outstanding teams or individual teachers in schools.
In the words of revolutionary army officer, founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: “A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.”
In celebration of World Teacher’s Day 2015, we salute all teachers who continue to consume themselves, and immerse themselves in their profession in order to light the way for the future of this country.