Most scientists in the world today wouldn’t have known the basics of science if they had not got quality teachers to teach them; today’s innovative, technological light, computerized and bio-technological equipment would not have been discovered without the help of some teachers and also doctors, engineers, economists and other professionals wouldn’t have had the skills and knowledge that have today if teachers didn’t exist.
The progress and success of all nations lies in the quality of education giving to their people and the quality of teachers that are employed to train their children and youths. Hence, the contributions of teachers to human development, country development, economic growth and building sustainable peace can never be over-emphasized.
Basically, teachers are career and country builders. For every education a teacher gives, it reflects on the future of his or her students and the country. The work of teachers is not limited to given subjects, but also involves teaching children good moral behaviour, democracy, innovation, justice and human right. These teachings and trainings are very essential for peace and progress of all nations.
It’s the right of every child to have access to sound and quality education regardless of his or her sex, belief or background. For every child that successful receives quality education, it’s guaranteed that the future of such child and his or her country is bright.
In addition, researches have shown that most progressive, innovative, peaceful, developed and successful nations are those that invest in education and prioritize the interests of their teachers. For instance, Finland, Luxembourg, Singapore, China and Korea are known in recent years to have advanced in development, human productivity and witness increasing economy growth.
One of the things that these nations have in common is their respect for teachers. They are known for paying their teachers well, and have high level of respect for their teachers. These are seen to have motivated teachers to train their students better.
Islam also holds teachers in high regard. On one occasion, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) entered the mosque before the prayer time. He found two groups in the Mosque. One group was busy with its own act of worship – some were reading the Qur’an while the others were supplicating. The other group was in a corner, busy learning. They learnt how to read and write and discussed the teachings of Islam and their application to their daily lives. Looking at both, the Prophet (S) said:
“They are both engaged in useful pursuits. But I am a teacher. I shall join the group assembled to learn.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari).
Islam believes that teachers are very important people in the society, for that have the opportunity to give information that will arm and save a student and his or her society. Teachers are given the chance to give any information that will continue to have impact on the life of their students. They are responsible for the social development and human productivity of a nation.
Meanwhile, the theme of this year’s International Teacher’s Day “The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher” lends credence to how important the teachers are. Almost every nation accepts and promotes the right of education but few of these nations have quality teachers to train these children. It is of no importance to have students but have few or no qualified teachers to take the children and youths in schools.
In addition, the poor number of qualified teachers is one of the challenges that is affecting most developing in the world. There are hundreds of thousands of young people that are ready to learn western education, but it’s so unfortunate that these children and youths with enthusiasm for education meet unqualified and inexperienced teachers in the classrooms.
In the middle of last year, the Kaduna State Government in Nigeria had to sack over 21,000 teachers who failed a primary four test, the government then called to replace them with new teachers and it was later discovered that some of the new teachers could not write their acceptance letters. This scenario is one of many which show that Nigeria as a country is suffering from a dearth of qualified teachers in schools.
To buttress the above, Nigeria lacks teachers in some distanced areas to teach their children; there is shortage of qualified teachers in the country. Hence, there is no how we will fulfill the right of every child to education if we cannot provide quality and adequate teachers in schools around the country. To ensure that students are taught by qualified teachers, government and education support institutions should ensure that teachers have better and quality initial training and know better than their students.
I agree with Nelson Mandela when he quoted:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. I added that the bridges to connect the world with education are teachers.
We can’t change the world if we don’t have quality teachers to give our young people quality education.
I therefore, call on governments, leaders, policy makers, stakeholders and parents as we celebrate World Teacher’s Day today to continue in respecting, valuing and in fulfilling the interests of teachers and also to provide a conducive environment for both teachers and students so that every person will have their fundamental right to education.
Written by: Ismail Rotimi Lawal