By Benedicta Apeh
All around the world, the major stakeholders that are known for ensuring that knowledge is passed down from generation to generation are the teachers. In formal and informal settings, these set of people see to the continuity of learning and education.
In some countries of the world, these individuals that work ever so tirelessly and dedicatedly are under-rewarded or under-appreciated for their labour. This noble profession has therefore become a thing of ridicule especially in the underdeveloped and developing countries, despite being non-replaceable in the educational system and definitely in the progress of any nation that values education. It has been infiltrated by individuals who have no value and passion for the profession thereby negatively affecting the quality of students who graduate from the various institutions. Many young people now shrink at the very thought of being called a teacher, making the future of the teaching profession rather bleak. Countries of the world that have come to understand and embrace teachers as being very important to their country’s development invest heavily in these individuals and have been able to harvest its rewards. One of which is ultimately, having a robust and functional educational system, and students that can compete favorably anywhere in the world.
Teachers’ roles go beyond following lesson plans and curriculums, they serve as external parents to the children under them, which is a very significant role to play. Any wrong move in playing this role can contribute to producing a dysfunctional adult in the future. They hold a high position in making or marring students for life. They counsel, mentor, assist and engage in multiple roles as the occasion demands. Therefore, the unreplaceable role of teachers especially in the formal school system and in the society should never be downplayed. These individuals should be well rewarded and celebrated.
Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the world leading to many adjustments in many systems of the world, especially the educational system when obviously schools had to be locked down for a very long period of time. Innovations and new methods on how learning can be continued were implemented and are still being researched. It is evident that teachers had to more than anyone, adjust to these times or else risk the continuity of education in the country they serve. Education was being threatened and if they failed to adjust, the system might never find recovery from the sudden blow of the pandemic. Knowing that teachers are the information givers of the system, their adjustment and new knowledge base will also help the students they are overseeing adjust quickly and continue learning amidst the pandemic.
Teachers must therefore embrace their new roles to see to the recovery and continuity of education. Teachers must continually see themselves as the heart of education sustenance even in the advent of COVID-19. Roles and methods of education in this time will keep changing so they should embrace all forms of trainings and knowledge that will help them function maximally in their duties, in ensuring that learning and formal education is not hindered or stopped in any way.
The governments under which they serve must also see to it that their teachers are given the necessary trainings and encouragement to see that they can perform their roles seamlessly.
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