In my 2022 school reopening message, I expressed my firm belief that teachers do, unquestionably, affect eternity. On the strength of this belief, I wish every teacher within the Antiguan and Barbudan teaching service, an exceptionally meaningful World Teachers’ Day. This year, the day is being recognized under the theme, “The transformation of education begins with teachers”.
The theme acknowledges that there is a global call for the transformation of education but, more significantly, it clearly suggests that teachers are not just an integral part of the transformation of education, they are the nuclei and agents of the radical changes which are currently critical.
Teachers, by dint of hard work and great sacrifice, make an unparalleled contribution to the lives of the students they teach.
Today, we pause to consider the energetic creativity, phenomenal commitment, positive inspiration, and strategic innovation which teachers deliver day in and day out, school year after school year. We are humbled by the sum of your service. Thank you for all that you do and will do in the future.
The declaration that the transformation of education begins with teachers is a reminder that teachers have to alter their practices to meet the increasingly complex needs of students.
While you hold on to core principles of professionalism, you must, by necessity, be ready to embrace new technologies, step boldly into new pedagogy and design lessons which empower students to take advantage of the revolutionary opportunities they will encounter. Yours is a mammoth task, and it could be daunting, but you are perfectly capable of meeting the challenge. I urge you to be encouraged.
The theme for this year’s Teachers Day is also a charge to ministries of education and governments everywhere. Our government must recognize that the demands that are placed on teachers must be supported by greater investments in teachers. We need an urgent recalculation of how teachers are cared for.
The remuneration they receive, the resources they are provided with and the physical environment in which they work have to motivate them to be agents of change. So, while we take the time to celebrate teachers, we must also dwell on our responsibility to this exclusively influential group of people in society.
We must take actions which spur teachers on and keep them lighting the fires of progress we need in Antigua and Barbuda.
As I close this message recognizing the 28th year of World Teachers’ Day, I wish to reiterate the crucial role teachers are required to play as we take transformative action in education. Teachers, you are invaluable.
Thank you. May God continue to strengthen you and bless your efforts. Have a magnificent World Teachers’ Day.
Clare Browne, Director of Education Ministry of Education and Sports