World Teachers' Day commemorated as 250 million children do not learn basic skills

If teachers have “appropriate contracts and salaries” as well as proper resources and training they can manage to address problems that millions of children in the world faced in not knowing the basic education skills, according to a statement that read out to hundreds of teachers and students in Nuku’aofa yesterday.

Marking the World Teacher’s Day, Lady Tuna Fielakepa, a government retired Chief Education Officer, read the statement from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which says that 250 million children, “over half of whom have spent four years in school”, around the world today do not learn  the basic education skills  because of teachers working “without resources or proper training”.

It says that a“high-quality pre-and in-service training for teachers, based on respect for human rights and the principles of inclusive education; and effective management, including teacher recruitment and deployment” are important to maintain teachers’ willingness and aspiration.

The international body says for the teachers to be efficient and effective in their roles they need necessary and essentials tools.

“Equipping teachers to succeed is therefore a priority. This means rigorous training, better conditions for employment, quality-based teacher recruitment, thoughtful deployment and attracting new teachers and talents, especially young people and women from under-represented communities”, it says.

There are increasing problems Tongan communities around the world face today such as school violence, abortions, youth crimes as well as drugs related crimes and Tongan community leaders are struggling to find a solution that can best resolve them.

UNESCO says, “A good education enables [children], as global citizens, to respond to the challenges of a complex world, and contribute to building peaceful and sustainable communities”.

In central Nuku’alofa yesterday teachers, school children and supporters paraded along Taufa’ahau Rd to Teufaiva Outdoor Stadium where students presented a number of entertainment items to celebrate the historical day.

Tonga’s Minister of Education Dr ‘Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki led the march which was joined by leaders of schools from churches and government.

Tonga commemorated the 20th anniversary of the World Teachers’ Day two days ahead of the actual date which is October 5. This year’s theme is – Invest in the future, invest in teachers.

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