‘Teachers make a difference in reaching out to each child’


Minister Mondon delivering her speechMinister Mondon’s speech reads:
“We have all been touched by one or more great teachers in our lives, we know who they are, and we know why.

“The teaching profession is amongst the oldest profession since the existence of mankind. From the parents who educated their young in the skills for survival, to the spiritual leaders whose role was to care for the soul of the people; teaching has over the years evolved and has become more focused and structured.

“We surely need to give due recognition to the hundreds of men and women who have chosen a profession which is noble in nature.

“The roles of those responsible for the development of the children and youth of the nation have expanded; the tasks, amidst growing expectations of the people, have become more challenging. As global competition for teachers increase, negative talk about teachers seems to be following the upward same direction. The society and education environment are changing rapidly and there is increasing pressure for quality education. The responsibility for delivering the services expected by parents, stakeholders and society at large, fundamentally rests on the shoulders of the education managers and the teachers.
“Everyday parents entrust their children to us teachers. In the face of ever increasing challenges such as discipline problems and having to cope with youngsters who have been abandoned and abused, we teachers continue to dedicate ourselves to the noble profession that we have chosen. Noble, but also most challenging and rewarding.

“As counsellors we heal so many broken hearts, as disciplinarians we guide and we coach. We become torch bearers to so many who are lost along the way.

“As the authors of ‘Chicken soup for the Teacher’s soul’ so rightly state: “You have chosen the most challenging and rewarding profession there is or ever will be. The psychological and emotional rewards are enormous – the light in the eyes of a newly motivated student; the smile on a face when a seemingly unfathomable concept is finally grasped; the delighted laughter of an estranged child who is finally included; the joy of watching a challenging student walk across the stage at graduation; the appreciative smiles, hugs and thank-yous from a grateful parent; a thank you card from a potential dropout who decides to stay in school and goes on to succeed; and the internal satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference, done something that matters and left an undeniable mark on the future.”

“The teacher can be rightly called a nation builder. Teacher through your perseverance, love and sacrifices you have shown us the right path in which great men have built our nation. It is you dear teachers who mould our character, our personality and show us the right direction which leads us to our final destination.  We have reasons to celebrate your achievements.

“As we cross the threshold in the development of our small nation, I find it fitting to slow down and take a closer look at where the road is heading. Education is fundamental in the whole process of building the new Seychelles; hence, one cannot afford to overlook the myriad contributions made by the teachers in Seychelles
“Flourishing national development and a society truly prosperous with knowledge, all begins from its teachers.

“Our ministry is conscious that to increase the quantity and quality of teachers it is necessary to restore and sustain the confidence in the teaching profession and to seek means to ensure that teachers are further motivated to join and stay in the profession.

“It is with this in mind that we have decided to raise awareness of the contribution that our teachers make in our schools and our communities through the publication of a collection of teachers’ narratives under the theme ‘Celebrating Teachers’. We believe that focusing on the positive will shift attention away from negative publicity, to one of acclamation and respect, hence celebrating what is good in our schools.

“A memento is only temporary; recording the teacher’s experiences in their own words serves to record their mark for posterity. 

“The Celebrating Teachers’ project comprises a series of activities which will be implemented from now onwards.  The publication of teachers’ narratives is the first activity to launch the project.

“I am convinced that such a project will help us to recognise and honour teachers’ achievement, value the work and contribution of our teachers, promote the image of the teacher and the teaching profession, recognise and reward excellent performance within the profession and sensitise the community and public at large on the importance of the teaching profession. More importantly, it will help teachers to rediscover and value themselves as well as the work that they do.

“I urge you teachers to be mindful of your role and to act now and make a real difference in the lives of the many children and youths who you encounter every day. No other, can have an influence more profound than that of a teacher.

“As stated earlier, a series of activities will be organised under the theme ‘Celebrating Teachers’. Let us all work together to bring about the shift in the perception of the community on our teachers. Let us, together build a more supportive environment for our students and teachers.

“Allow me at this point to say a few words to the students present here this afternoon. Dear students value your teachers. They are your beacons and guides into discovering the future. Open your hearts and minds, welcome them and let them ignite your passion, curiosity and love for learning.

“My dear teachers, the essence of the teacher as a nation builder cannot be over-emphasised. Good teachers are themselves constantly seeking knowledge, are of good character, good model to their students, have high motivation and are creative, innovative and effective in their teaching. “Remember that if the children are not learning the teacher is not teaching.

“Sometimes it may seem that people have forgotten how important you really are. Your creativity, your dedication, your passion. It may seem like no one is watching you and appreciating you.

“So for every teacher who works with children, building a better future for all of us, one child at a time, we salute you and we thank you.

 “You make a difference for reaching out to each child to become the next great author, artist, scientist, architect, musician, doctor, engineer, president, TEACHER.

I leave with this quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

It is with immense pleasure that I now officially launch the ‘Celebrating Teachers’ project.
I thank you all for joining us in celebrating our teachers.

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