2018 World Teachers' Day Address by Dr. Geoffrey Hanley
Posted by St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party on Friday, October 5, 2018
Today, October 5th, 2018, when we celebrate World Teachers’ Day globally, I use this momentous occasion to wish every teacher in every school in our beautiful Federation, Happy Teachers’ Day 2018. On this World Teachers’ Day, we in St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as many others around the World, draw attention to the fact that good quality education cannot be delivered without well-trained teachers. At the same time, we focus our minds on the right of every boy and girl to a good quality education. To me, this means that the right to a good quality education for all of our children means that our government must bear a high level of responsibility for ensuring good quality training for all of our teacher in every school.
Let us be really honest about this: Teachers are the most pivotal to the development and stability of our modern society. Teacher are the reason why we have doctors, nurses, policemen and -women, and every other category of professionals in our society. It is teachers that make our young men and women employable. It is they who essentially are at the foundation of our national development. The African scholar – Nkechi Okoli – was right when he said, “Education is the key to modernisation but teachers hold the key to the door. No nation can be great or rise above the quality of its educational system and no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers.”
So today, we honour all of our teachers in all of our places of learning – both private and public; our daycare centres, primary schools, special schools, secondary schools, post-secondary institutions like the CFBC, AVEC and the Nevis Sixth Form College. We honour them indeed.
However, the most fitting tribute to our teachers at this time would be for us to commit ourselves to providing them with ongoing opportunities for higher education and professional training coupled with commensurate pay at the end of the month, and adequate resources in the classroom. In this regard, I pledge my earnest support, not simply because I have been a teacher and school administrator myself, but because I believe it is the right thing to do.
We need more educational scholarships for young people who are committed to a career in the teaching profession. Teachers need resources such as their own laptops and internet connectivity provided by the government, for the benefit of our students and our country by and large. I give the people of St. Kitts and Nevis my solemn commitment to fight for our young people by fighting for teachers, the builders of our nation.
Again, Happy Teachers’ Day to all of our teachers in St. Kitts and Nevis.