MEC Grant pays Tribute to Teachers on World Teachers Day
"We are joined by over 100 countries to pay tribute to our teachers for their immense contribution towards education and to acknowledge their commitment to their profession and their dedication in providing our learners with a quality education."
Grant said that many of our teachers often taught in difficult circumstances.
"Many of our teachers in this Province face a myriad of challenges everyday. Be it large classes, lack of respect and discipline by learners, minimal resources or challenges with the curriculum. However, despite this, many of our teachers go beyond their duties to ensure that their classrooms are happy and safe learning environments," he said.
"Our teachers are simply not recognized often enough for their outstanding efforts in this regard. We should be creating heroes out of them, acknowledging their tireless efforts and, honoring their commitment and passion."
The MEC visited a number of schools in the Province to personally say thank-you to the teachers and present to them a small token of the Department's appreciation - a "Thank you teacher" book.
The book comprises a collection of messages from learners to their teachers and was conceptualized by Eddie Kirsten, Director of Human Capital Development, and sponsored by the Oxford University Press and ABC Printing.
"This book creatively acknowledges that the efforts of our teachers have not gone unnoticed by some of their fiercest critics - the learners themselves. The admiration that some of our learners have for their teachers is evident in this book. It is a love-letter of appreciation from learners to teachers to thank-you," he said.
Grant said that 30 000 copies of the book had been printed and that every teacher across the province would be receiving a copy this week.
The MEC first presented the book to teachers at Vuzamanzi Primary School in Khayelitsha and acknowledged their role in the improvement in Grade 3 systemic evaluation results in 2008.
"In 2006, the school performed poorly in the Grade 3 literacy and numeracy systemic tests, where learners achieved 17.1% in literacy and 4.1% in Numeracy 4.1%," said Grant.
"However, with good leadership, a positive team spirit, and the motto 'Nor crosswind can eliminate the strength of a target spear', these teachers turned these results around, achieving 93.3% for literacy and 50.3% for Numeracy in 2008."
At Bulumko Secondary, MEC Donald Grant handed out the "Thank you teacher" book and recalled how he felt after his previous visit to the school.
"The last time I was here, I witnessed the 'Winter School' in action. The teachers had voluntarily given up their vacation time to assist their learners in preparation with the upcoming matric examinations. I was blown away by the positive energy of both the learners and the teachers at this school," he said.
"Without doubt, these teachers are making a significant difference to the lives of these learners everyday," he said.
The MEC then went on to join around 300 teachers representing 10 schools in Hanover Park at Mount View Secondary in celebration of what they dubbed "Teacher appreciation Day."
"Not only do we appreciate our teachers we want to assist them," said Grant.
"We are doing everything we can to ensure that their lives are made easier, starting with reducing their administrative duties," he said.
The MEC ended his speech by saying that the WCED were there to act as their support, to give guidance and encouragement.
"Together we can create a corps of teachers that are recognized as world class," he said.