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No joy for teachers as they commemorate World Teacher’s Day

Chen Williams

THE 5th of October marks the fairly celebrated World Teachers’ Day where the world commends the rights, responsibilities and value of teachers all around the world as they play an important role in educating the future of their countries.

As the name suggests, the day is celebrated to honour teachers all around the world for their role in the economic development of their countries, as they are the sole reason for providing education to the society that enhances people’s quality of life.

This year the theme of World Teachers’ Day is ‘Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery.’ This theme recognizes teachers for their tireless efforts even during times like COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

Due to their hardworking nature, teachers are known to help young children grow and learn, even in shaping the future generation.

However, teachers in Africa, especially in Zimbabwe, have not be given the support and acknowledgement they deserve and have been ill-treated several times.

During an online interview Zimbabwe Voice had with the Bulawayo Vice Chairperson of Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) Tinotendaishe Chidhakwa, it emerged that there are immense challenges teachers are facing.

“The biggest challenge right now is the incapacitation challenge. What we’re earning is not enough to enable us to report for duty and deliver the best of education to the nation as in line with what we trained for.

“Also, schools are Covid 19 hot spots, with government failing to provide funding to ensure a safe working environment. A lot of learners whom we care so much about are being excluded from education due to Covid 19,” Chidhakwa said.

“The government has not put in place adequate measures to ensure that effective teaching and learning reaches the poorest of learners in the country.

“Also, learners in remote areas where the so-called radio lessons cannot reach them due to poor transmission infrastructure and lack of financial power to acquire gadgets.”

World Teachers’ Day was introduced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994 as a way to spread awareness and appreciate the people that shape up doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes and so on.

Failing to appreciate and ill-treating them will make their work become even harder and unrewarding, hence crumbling the future generation and the economy as a whole.

A five-day series of global and regional events will showcase the effect that the pandemic has had on the teaching profession, highlight effective and promising policy responses, and aim to establish the steps that need to be taken to ensure that teaching personnel develop their full potential.

This year, World Teachers’ Day celebrations will take place in conjunction with the meeting of the Joint ILO-UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel (CEART), which will be running from 4 to 8 October 2021.

Joint message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, Ms Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and Mr David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International, on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2021.

“On World Teachers’ Day, we are not only celebrating every teacher. We are calling on countries to invest in them and prioritize them in global education recovery efforts so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher. Let’s stand with our teachers!”

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