Saturday 5th October 2013 marks the 20th World Teachers’ Day as institutionalized by the United Nations. This year’s theme “Teachers take the lead for Quality Education” underscores the strong feeling and conviction that educators should lead the debate about excellent and quality teaching.
Education International, International Council on Education for Teaching, UNESCO, other international organizations and higher education institutions have been working to strengthen a global network which will adequately respond to the sustained need for teacher quality and effectiveness.
A consultative meeting held in March 2011 in New York City following the International Summit on the Teaching Profession, emphasized that quality teaching calls for teachers at all levels of education to be appropriately trained and qualified. The work of the Global Network for Teaching Quality and Effectiveness, addresses policies which relate to teaching quality on an international scale. The identified and shared perspectives are:
1. Teacher Preparation, Recruitment and Engagement
2. Professional Development, Support and Retention
3. Teacher Evaluation and Compensation
In the Commonwealth of Dominica, for the last thirty years, the Dominica Association of Teachers in collaboration with the Ministry of Education has adopted a culture of continual professional development through its annual professional development Summer Workshops for all teachers and school administrators. The goal is to sustain a high performing education system. These workshops serve as professional learning communities where educators come together regularly to share and learn from one another. Newly acquired knowledge of innovative teaching methods and pedagogy provide teachers with the opportunity to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attributes required for the 21st century workforce.
Dominica’s policy initiatives of Universal Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Education, presuppose that the teacher is the heart of quality education. This crucial role in achieving quality education needs to be highlighted.
The performance of students at the 2013 Grade Six National Assessment, and the results of the CSEC regional examination, unequivocally attest to the fact that Dominican teachers go beyond the call of duty. We thank them for this tremendous effort and urge them to continue to work collectively towards an even higher level of professional competence. When professional values are championed, a deep sense of pride, identity and ownership characterizes the teaching body.
In conclusion, I urge all teachers to continue to play a prominent role in the life of your students; to act as their guide for life, showing them the path towards success and enrich their personalities by imparting ethical and academic knowledge; bring out the untamed talents of your students and sharpen it in order to bring out the best results. I encourage you to organize events and participate fully in these events in order to make the day a truly international celebration.
I congratulate all teachers on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day.
I thank you.