Today, as we mark Teacher’s Day, we are presented with an opportunity to give due recognition to members of this noble profession, whose outstanding contribution to nation building cannot be discounted. It is an opportunity for many of us to reflect on our own lives and how much our past teachers had aided our journey to the place of success that we now enjoy.
I would like to think that my brothers and I enjoyed the best of both worlds – we had teachers at home, as well as school. This brings into sharp focus the need for that critical partnership between the home and school. I am concerned about the adversarial relationship that sometimes exists between parents and teachers – with our children being the ones most negatively affected. I appeal to the parents to support the teachers – they have the best interest of your children at heart.
Teachers, I know that the challenges with which you wrestle are grave; but I ask that you remain steadfast in your mandate of educating our children – they need you – Jamaica’s future relies on you! The rewards of your profession are great. There is that invaluable reward of seeing our young people grow up and take their rightful place in the society, contributing successfully to its development. A large part of the credit must be apportioned to you; and for this, we owe you a debt of gratitude!
I have oftentimes said, that Jamaica must become a place, where not everyone may be rich, but no one is poor. Education is that ‘vehicle’ that will transport us from that place of poverty to prosperity. Education is that ‘ladder’ that will allow our people to climb from the depths of poverty, to the heights of prosperity. Teachers, you are the ones steering that vehicle and you have placed that ‘ladder’ against the wall.
The commemoration of Teacher’s Day, in no way reflects your true worth; but represents a small token of how much we value you. I appeal to my fellow Jamaicans to show respect and appreciation to our teachers today and everyday.
Happy Teacher’s Day to all our nation’s teachers!