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World Teachers’ Day celebrated

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) from the Katlehong north branch held a ceremony to celebrate World Teachers’ Day at Lethukuthula Secondary School in Katlehong recently.

Celebrated on October 5, under the theme ‘Young teacher, the future of the profession’, the day commemorates teachers who contribute to the education of children around the world.

The day was first celebrated in India on September 5, 1962. The day celebrated Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishana, who died in April 1975. He was the second president of India and was a philosopher, scholar, teacher and politician who dedicated his life and work towards education. The day honours him as he was born on the same day in 1888.

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The day went on to be celebrated in other countries around the world and in South Africa.

Ndiana Ramaila, deputy chairperson of Sadtu from the branch, said the purpose of the day was to honour members of the union who were working tirelessly to enlighten the minds of young people.

“Firstly, teachers play an important role in the lives of young people as they help them become successful in their careers or businesses. They also help young people become good human beings in society and good citizens of the country. Teachers know that students are the future of any nation. So the future development of any nation is in the hands of teachers.

“Secondly, the aim of celebrating the day is to recognise the hard work of teachers and to encourage them to continue working hard, despite the working conditions they work under.

“There are places where teaching and learning is no longer safe because teachers are bullied by some children, yet they still come to school to mould their minds. They need to be recognised for that. That is why we have a day like this,” said Ramaila.

He also said teachers find themselves under pressure because of the workload of completing the syllabus, assessing, marking and making sure that reports are complete.

“All this has deadlines and it must all happen on time,” Ramaila told Kathorus MAIL.

A choir from Empilisweni Secondary School opened the ceremony with the national anthem.

There were also traditional dancers who came to entertain teachers.

Guests from SACE, SACP, Cosatu and Cosas also attended.

A teacher who wished to remain anonymous said representatives highlighted an important effort to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation for the vital contribution that teachers make to education.

“I think we are not appreciated enough. The working conditions we are working under are not conducive enough. “The department is always sitting on our necks whenever something happens at school. They put blame on us and try to impress parents. Also, learners know their rights but don’t know what their responsibilities are.

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“Still, I would like to show respect to the teachers for all that they do because they still manage to produce the doctors and engineers of tomorrow,” said the teacher.

Lerato Tsotetsi (17) from Lethukuthula Secondary School said she is aware of the contribution made by teachers in her life.

“I think they deserve more than what is happening here. There is a lot that teachers do to transform our mindset. All I can say is that I am what I am today because of the contribution made by teachers. We can communicate with people from different parts of the world because of teaches. If you look at the way the Fourth Industrial Revolution transformed the world today, it all started with science teachers. I salute teachers for their good work,” Tsotetsi said.

 

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