Thank you for allowing me space to write this article in your paper as a supportive elaboration and remarks on the above important occasion. World Teachers' Day commemoration falls on 5th October every year but since it is on a Saturday here in Vanuatu, it is commemorated on the above date (Friday 4th October) as it is an official working day (schools still open). This year’s theme is:
“YOUNG TEACHERS: THE FUTURE OF THE PROFESSION.”
“JEUNE FORMATEUR AVENIR DE LA PROFESSION.
- Retired Teachers (2016-2017) Committee Representatives were also there to join the parade in support of the above theme i.e. the young teachers of tomorrow who are and will be in the field. We came up also with a banner which states and signifies an important appraisal note for young teachers which reads - (As a French (Education) Writer puts it): ‘VOUS AVEZ CHOISI UNE MEILLEURE PROFESSION DANS LE MONDE.’ OR ‘YOU HAVE CHOSEN A TOP JOB IN THE WORLD.’
Yes, whether you are a Kindergarten (Pre-school) teacher, a Primary teacher, a Secondary teacher or even a Post-Secondary (Tertiary) Teacher – this is a top job! Without you there won’t be a workforce in Government or Public Service like directors, various officers of different ranks, police, nurses, doctors, teachers, bankers, pilots, parliamentarians, ministers (just to name some) and this is also the same for the Private Sectors.
- The above is very supportive of the Secretary-General of Teaching Service Commission (Mr. Jacques Gideon’s) statement, in one of his highlights emphasizing – ‘Teaching as a Noble Profession.’ (Noble here means, if I may put it this way: …’showing or having high moral qualities, social rank or order and magnificent.’). So young teachers (and teachers at large), you are not small!
- The Honorary President of Vanuatu Teachers Union (Mr. Obed Massingiou’s) speech also highlighted some very important points you should take note of. One of them: ‘You climb up a ladder reaching tertiary or university, you will also have to climb the ladder going downwards.’This means, if I may recap or comment and add, as he stated: there are things in between those steps you still have to learn, and this relates to our culture (or custom) and or common knowledge, like: planting yams, weaving mats or making laplap or bunia, your (tribal) custom structure, the best time to plant your banana, how to read from nature if a cyclone is approaching shortly, etc. (just to name a few). (It is a mixture of informal and or traditional knowledge).
- A very important advice: ‘BE A TEACHER OF CONCERN,’ which should be a priority. Yes, you will have other school programs, etc. which are important and helps, but CONCERN overrides all. CONCERN for what, for the kids or students in the class – because without them you wouldn’t be a teacher! They are human beings (psychologically), not objects or animals.
- A new graduate from the Teachers College (or other Institutions), after signing a contract, is obliged to teach anywhere in the Republic of Vanuatu, whether it be urban or rural areas. Young Teachers or even graduates should be equipped to face the challenges in those areas – and sometimes it may not be easy. Always be prepared for the unexpected! Accept your posting, where possible, at all costs.
- Commit and sacrifice yourself to your job.
- Spend more time in the classroom with kids or students, spend less time in the staffroom (no pleiplei long wok).
- Always attempt using teaching aids, apparatus or materials where possible.
- Get as much from the experienced and older teachers.
- Be a role model for your kids and students and for that community.
- Remember: You’re neither British nor French, but Ni-Vans.
- Always be what you are, whatever nationality.
- [We think parents should come to support this important occasion].
- [Retired Teachers Committee Representatives 2016-2017, most or some will be going in a matter of time, but like to wish you all the best for the future in this noble profession].
Quotes from Scripture to help:
Ecclesiastes 12: 1 (a)- ‘Remember now your Creator (God), in the days of your youth. Before the difficult days come.’
- May we take this opportunity to first of all thank the V.T.U. Secretary-General (Mr. Joel Pakoa), SHEFA Education-S.I.O. Coordinator (Mr. Jack Maite), V.I.T. Principal (Mr. Graham Takalo) and T.S.C. Secretary-General (Mr. Jacques Gideon) for inviting, allowing and appreciating us Retirees (2016-2017) during the W.T.D. 2019 Occasion in Port Vila at V.I.T.
May the God of Abraham (the Ancient of Days) richly bless you all.
(A Ret.Tr.2016-2017 Rep.)