NAPTOSA’s leadership salutes each and every educator member of the union in celebrating World Teachers’ Day on 5 October 2019.
You are indeed part of a worldwide select group of men and woman who fulfil a most critical role in society – helping prepare the future of those who will become the future. Be assured that your contribution to the lives of the children of our country are highly valued.
This year’s international theme for World Teachers’ Day is “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession” and UNESCO/ ILO/ Education International, jointly, call on governments to make teaching a profession of first choice for young people. As NAPTOSA we could not agree more, especially in light of the damage done by the poor policy decision of some years ago to close down public teacher training colleges. We need an influx of new, young teachers who not only have the academic qualifications, but also the requisite teaching skills.
But as much as a younger generation of teachers is required, it would be a travesty not to recognize the contribution and importance of our experienced teachers on this day. Part of the international message, succinctly captures this sentiment: “Above all, we celebrate the work of dedicated teachers around the world who continue to strive every day to ensure “inclusive and equitable quality education” and the promotion of “lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
It sometimes saddens to see the value attached to teachers in some other countries, where they are treated as true professionals, compared to South Africa. When the selection criteria for teacher training is stricter than for medical studies (as is the case in a Nordic country), the professional status of teachers is undeniable. On this day, we call on SACE and the Department of Basic Education to do more to professionalise our teaching profession. Considering our name, there can be no doubt as to how NAPTOSA views its members.
In the anti-Gender-Based Violence climate prevalent in our country, NAPTOSA, yet again, wishes to lend its voice in condemning this scourge. All our members, but especially our female members, live and work under the constant threat of gender-based violence. NAPTOSA will continue its support of all programmes aimed at the eradication thereof, as well as unsafe working environments.
To all our teachers, enjoy World Teachers’ Day and be proud of your profession. As the candles in the NAPTOSA logo are explained, “you bring the light of education that conquers the darkness of ignorance”.