The on-going efforts of the government, the Ministry of Education and Teachers’ Association aim at decreasing the illiteracy level of citizens and laying a fundamental base for development by providing equal, noble and quality education to students. To enhance these efforts, the role of teachers is fundamental. Hence, it is worthy commemorating Teachers’ Day. 5th of October.
And last week Teachers’ Day was colourfully celebrated in the Berik subzone, under the theme “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”. After a minute of silence to remember the fallen heroes, the program of the day was officially opened with the speech of the organizing committee’s head, Abrhaley Arefaine, in the presence of Ministers, high ranking and PFDJ officials, representatives of national civil societies, members of Eritrean Teachers Association, teachers and invited guests. In his speech, Mr. Abrhaley said that the program was made possible through the partnership and hard work of all teachers, governmental and non-governmental partners. He further noted that in the last 26 years of independence, the Eritrean government, in general, and the Ministry of Education, in particular, are playing an important role in giving equal access to education, in providing quality education and in upgrading teachers’ capacity.
Director General of the curriculum department at the Ministry, Mr. Mussa Naib, also said that, a teacher is a key person in any society, that is why we have great faith in teachers. Undeterred by the harsh conditions during the armed struggle, the visible and invisible challenges faced after independence and the economic pressures and social obstacles, the Eritrean teachers seem to munificently move on since they are the heart of the society, he added.
In his final remarks, Mr. Mussa said that teaching as a profession is not profit –oriented, rather it is a morally and ethically oriented profession and it is the duty of the teachers to work hard on education for a sustainable development. In addition to this he advised that Eritreans are respectful to teacher’s status and it is good to keep the faith.
Teachers Association was first established in 1958 by few interested teachers in Awald School, Asmara, which is now called Adulis junior School. But, under suppressive colonial rulers such as the Derg regime, the association was deactivated. Soon after independence, in 1991, the association started to be organized at a national level and by drafting a constitution, the association began to revive as a non-governmental organization. Since1996, the Eritrean Teachers Association has been a member of the Educational International (EI).
The initiative to designate October 5th as the Teachers’ Day was taken by the World Teachers Association, UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in October 1966. The trio adopted a special recommendation on teachers’ status to establish international standards and guidelines related to skills development, employment, and working conditions. And most importantly, the day and the recommendations became the milestones, since they represent teachers’ rights and responsibilities globally. World Teachers’ Association has been working to promote awareness and understanding about the various challenges and issues related to teaching, and encourage the appreciation and respect of teachers. EI is organized by 173 nations and 33 million teachers. Nowadays, the international association is working on to ensure the provision of good quality education globally.
Likewise, Eritrean Teachers’ Association is working in providing the right education as its main principle.
Eritrean Teachers’ Association held its 6th congress and ratified a new constitution. At present the association has 17,000 members who continue to be prodigious social and financial force. The main task of the association is sharing the passion for teaching among teachers, creating a sense of ownership and cooperation.
The Chairman of the Eritrean Teachers Association, Mr. Simon Mehari, said on the occasion that the development of any nation is measured by the quality of education the nation provides to its citizens. That is why the Eritrean government is investing on education. As a result, education is provided in various languages in every part of the country to ensure equitable access to all ethno-linguistic groups. In addition to this, taking elementary education as a right and duty of any citizen, the government rebuilt the needed educational infrastructure to enable students get education near their home. Teacher Simon said that even though it takes time to ensure the provision of the needed quality of education, distribution of schools throughout the country is ensured.
In his final remarks, teacher Simon noted that teachers are the backbone of a society and a nation, and need to continuously upgrade their capacity. He called on the Ministry of Education to make extra effort to upgrade the capacity of teachers. He finally thanked all bodies who played an important role to make the program noble.
The programme was concluded with the handing of awards of recognition and appreciation for the best teachers and supervisors.
The aim of teaching is not to accumulate wealth but to build a modern society. This contributes immensely to nation building sustainable development. Teachers’ Day was celebrated this year for the 24th and 21st time in Eritrea.