Minister Jacobs pledges to stand up for teachers

POSTED: 10/8/12 2:37 PM

St. Maarten – On Friday Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Silveria Jacobs joined the heads of international organizations to offer congratulations to teachers on the observance of World Teachers’ Day. With the theme being Taking a Stand for Teachers, the minister noted that teachers are the foundation of good schools, and good schools are the pillars of healthy and democratic communities.
“On this day, as the entire world stops to recognize the contribution of teachers, I take this opportunity to express congratulations to all teachers on St. Maarten on behalf of the Government of St. Maarten, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports in particular and the community at large. I congratulate all teachers for their pursuit of excellence, determination and dedication in educating the Future of St. Maarten.”
World Teachers’ Day is an opportunity to honor the women and men who inspire, challenge and nurture our children. World Teachers’ Day calls attention to the need to raise the status of the profession – not only for the benefit of teachers and students, but for society as a whole, to acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in building the future.
The simple truth is that, as a Country, we must invest in a strategy that places appropriate value on the contribution that you and your colleagues make to our collective future. Teachers devote their lives to giving our children the tools to succeed and inspire them to do it. Any efforts to brighten our Country’s future must be built upon a deep appreciation for your incredibly important work.
The world indeed expects a lot from teachers, therefore on this World Teachers’ Day, let us all take a stand for our Teachers. As a growing country we recognize that good teachers will determine how much our students achieve as well as help shape their attitudes towards learning and help build their self-esteem.
As a government we ‘Take a stand for Teachers’ by pledging here and now to do all we can to build our teachers’ professional status within the community; promote professional development; recognize dedication and determination; highlight and address the challenges facing the profession as well as education in general.
It is a monumental task, one that we will have to break down in achievable steps. As a Ministry we have started to do just that with the first steps taken in planning and executing the Teachers’ Summits where you were given the historical first opportunity to voice your opinions on these same “Challenges” as well as provide your government with suggestions towards taking the necessary steps to turn them into Stepping Stones for our collective success. Steps two and three are being planned and the results of your findings will be shared with you and the other stakeholders as we endeavor to make improvements in a system that has not been meeting the needs of our society for years.
As teachers, I implore you to continue to honor the code of conduct of the profession with pride, to model good citizenship, values and standards by which we intend to hold our youth to. I encourage you to continue to put your all into your vocation with passion and dedication to the success of your students.
I applaud those of you who reach out to your colleagues and help to build them up as well as being proactive in finding solutions over the years when we have failed to provide the necessities. Many of you have been doing it all and doing it well with little, but with our new autonomy and bottom-up approach of involvement, I envision a system where your needs will be met so that you can perform at the top of your game.
Reach out to your students, their parents, your management and the community with compassion and you will surely get the necessary cooperation to be successful. Continue to empower yourselves by building on skills and talents necessary for the execution of your tasks as teachers.
On this Teachers’ Appreciation Day, I’d like thank you for your countless hours, your sweat and tears, and your unwavering commitment to our children. I would also like to express a heartfelt Thank You for inspiring the next generation of amazing teachers. We take a stand for you as teachers who are integral to the success of our country,” the minster ended her statement.

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