Minister of Education Bourne-Gumbs World Teacher’s Day Message

Minister Hon. Rita Bourne-Gumbs

Rita A. Bourne-Gumbs_cropPHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – World Teacher’s Day (WTD) 2015 which is observed internationally on October 5, will be held under the theme “Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies.”

WTD 2015 is about highlighting the importance of empowering teachers to achieve inclusive and sustainable global development.  This year’s WTD highlights the need to empower all teachers through the provision of decent, safe and healthy working conditions, trust, professional autonomy and academic freedom.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), despite the global recognition of the importance of teachers in changing children’s lives and building sustainable and prosperous societies, they are all too often undervalued and under-empowered, particular in the area of Early Childhood Education.

Worldwide there is a growing shortage of quality teachers and inadequate professional training.  According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, estimates that to achieve universal primary education by 2020, countries will need to recruit a total of 12.6 million primary school teachers.

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (Ministry CYS) Hon. Rita Bourne-Gumbs, says that it is recognized that teachers are not only a means to implementing education goals; they are also key to sustainability and national capacity in achieving learning and creating societies based on knowledge, values and ethics.

“World Teacher’s Day is a special time to show appreciation to our teachers for their dedicated service to our school-going youth.  Our teachers are the foundation of our society where it concerns the advancement of our children who are the future of this country.  They are the future business leaders and politicians who will chart the way forward for generations to come.

“The role played by teachers is essential to our national development as a nation and society.  As a country we are confronted with challenges and changes where educators have to adapt due to changing times.  As teachers we must stand firm, work together, and help each other grow professionally and support one another so can continue to move our nation forward with confidence in building a sustainable Sint Maarten society.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank every teacher and educator for their hard work.  Let this day be a reflection upon what has been achieved over the years, and let us support each other as we continue to grow our teaching fraternity from strength to strength as we equip our young pupils and students with the skills for the future.  I wish you all Happy Teacher’s Day!,” Minister of Education Hon. Rita Bourne-Gumbs said on Sunday on the eve of World Teacher’s Day.

The Incheon Declaration at the World Education Forum in May 2015, clearly recognized the importance of empowerment.  At the forum, 1600 participants from 160 countries committed to ‘ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems.’

The Oslo Summit, ‘Education for Development,’ held in July 2015, highlighted the need for further investment in teacher education.