Globally speaking, much is said but less done about the worth of the teaching profession. Teaching, as a universal profession is one of the oldest and noblest ones. Its long-standing, historical existence and contribution go parallel with the different layers of time that human civilization has traversed through. The teacher, who is its best ambassador, revolves around a formal and central regulating authority to bring its mission home. Without him, however ideal educational objectives, policies and regulations may not bear result as disired. The reason is simple and clear: it is he, at the tip end that is always on the ground to implement them. What is more, it is he who bears the brunt of the hard task of bringing up the child and equipping him with an efficient tool that serves the whole course of the child’s life and the life of the society as well. This is tantamount to say that the parents create the child but it is the teacher who completes him as a carpenter polishes and shapes his wooden product.
Like an all-terrain vehicle, the teacher goes everywhere to carry out his apostolic mission: teaching the promising child in front of whom there is a radiant future. As a candle lights up other candles to emit light in a dark room, so does the teacher in illuminating the human society in general and the child in particular in the pursuit of practical knowledge. Thus, his profession is the torch that facilitates the march and brightens the path along which human society travels. For this and other ample reasons, the teacher is synonymous with light that penetrates a deep jungle. There is no other light but only that of the teacher upon whom social and other multifaceted changes hinge. As all hills could not be mounts, not all educated people could also be teachers without the prior qualification of the profession. This holds water because teaching has its own discipline which only the trained teacher assumes and practises.
However, if teaching and the teacher are to be more effective, self-respected and respected by others, the profession needs to enjoy a commensurate remuneration with some sort of fringe benefits that could give leverage to his status in the rung of the social ladder. Many are the factors that could make the profession of the teacher enviable and practicable. More than anything else, the attention that the government and the society give weighs substantially in the life of the teacher and his career.
Concurrently, reps of Education International and domestic Teachers’ Associations in collaboration with government officials and other invited authorities come together to colorfully celebrate World Teachers’ Day annually. Such occasion refreshes and energizes the spirit of teachers towards their profession. Accordingly, this years’ twentieth anniversary of World Teachers’ Day was celebrated for the seventeenth time in Eritrea at Barentu- the regional capital of Gash Barka, on the 5th of October 2013. Present at the occasion were the Governor, Mr Mohammed Hamid; the Delegate of the central Ministry of Education, Mr Petros Hailemariam, and other higher officials of MOE; Mr Isaac Tesfaghiorghis, President of the Association; representatives of the different ministries and offices; Executive Committee Members of the Association drawn from all the administrative regions of the country; as well as other invited guests. The occasion was glorified by the keynote address of the Governor who clearly and convincingly remarked that the occasion deserves a special honour because teachers are the repository of knowledge and the fount of every sophisticated mind that changed the world and contributed to human development. The Governor went on to say that there is nobody-be it a leader, an administrator, a medical doctor, an engineer, an astronaut, a pilot, a scientist, and what have you- who had not gone through the blessings of the teacher to share his fruits. Thus, the contribution of teachers and the weight of their profession when taken together are unparalleled which all teachers should feel happy and take pride in.
In similar vein, the Delegate of the Ministry congratulated all teachers and stated further that the service and contribution of teachers is beyond appreciation and is always in constant demand like the utility and craftsmanship of the best items in public markets. Thanks to the untiring efforts and devotion of teachers, he added, Eritrea has made much progress in the education sector. He also made note that since the quality of education goes parallel with the quality of teachers, the Ministry seizes every opportunity to train teachers by upholding the fact that training is an uncompromising process.
The President of the Association, Mr Isaac, on his part welcomed and thanked all the participants for coming and celebrating the international occasion under this year’s theme: Teachers, Take the Lead for Quality Education! He called all teachers, as usual; to work hard in providing quality education as per the spirit and responsibility the profession shoulders. In concluding his remarks, he solemnly reminded the Ministry that though some steps have been taken to improve teachers’ livelihood, urged the Ministry once again to take more effective and far-reaching measures across the board.
The occasion was embellished with the recitation of striking poems, warm statements of support from related branch offices as well as by the eye-captivating musical performances of the cultural troupe of Gash Barka.