World Teachers’ Day 2021: Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery

Today, Rwanda joins the rest of the world for the “World Teacher’s Day”, an annual day held on 5 October to celebrate all teachers around the globe.

The World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO’s Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. World Teachers’ Day has been celebrated since 1994.

Under the theme “Teachers at the heart of education recovery”, this year’s World Teachers’ Day focuses on empowering teachers to fully contribute to the resilience and recovery of the education sector from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heavily hurt education systems, especially in developing countries including Rwanda.

As a result of this pandemic, short-term challenges are already manifesting including a new learning environment for learners; with a shift from physical student-teacher learning to online education. Equipping teachers with the necessary technological skills, competences and tools to lead this change is key to rebuilding a strong education sector in Rwanda during and after COVID-19 crisis”

notes Dr. Anne Marie Kagwesage, an educational expert and researcher from the University of Rwanda.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in Rwanda, that has so far lasted more than 1.5 years, the Government has sensitized and empowered teachers to use technology to increase the resilience of Rwanda’s education system.

Gregoire Sebakara, a Math teacher at Groupe Scolaire Shyogwe in Muhanga District, praises the empowerment and support he was given to accomplish his day-to-day duties with excellence.

“I am thankful because I was selected among the first supported teachers. I was given a computer loaded with all the necessary teaching materials, and trained to use the latest technologies to teach my courses”, he said.

Even though this undertaking is still in progress to reach more teachers; it is already paying off. This can be gauged from this year’s P6 and S3 national examination results communicated yesterday October 4th, 2021 by Rwanda’s Minister of Education, Hon. Valentine UWAMARIYA.

According to the Ministry of Education, this year 2021 has recorded excellent student performance despite COVID-19 challenges, with 82.50% and 86.30% general pass rates for P6 and S3 test takers respectively. At the center of this success, exceptional efforts and dedication of teachers was recognized.

As we celebrate the World Teachers Day, the above is a testimony of how teachers’ empowerment can fast-track the recovery of the education sector, not only in Rwanda; but also on a global scale.

Dr. Patrice Habinshuti, PhD /MuhaburaNewsline

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