22/10/2020 - Fedsas
Rarely before has the value of a single profession been highlighted so acutely as that of the teacher during the Covid-19 pandemic. With millions of children world-wide suddenly dependent on home-schooling, many teachers and guardians experienced first-hand how challenging teaching really is. It is probably safe to say that most role-players in school communities now understand what it takes to be a teacher. For this reason, it is even more important than before to honour the work of teachers with the celebration of World Teachers’ Day on 5 October.
“It is nearly impossible to express in words our appreciation for the way in which teachers stepped up this year. The commitment to the task, the innovative ideas to tackle challenges, the determination to ensure that the school year is not lost – it is simply remarkable,” says Dr Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS).
This year’s theme is “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. “This year the future came knocking and millions of teachers were forced to become instant online specialists. But learning technical skills is only one aspect of online teaching. For teachers there was the additional challenge of ensuring that teaching and learning take place. Existing lessons couldn’t simply be presented online – the entire curriculum had to be approached from a different angle.”
Deacon says FEDSAS and other role-players provided support where possible, but in the end the responsibility rested on the shoulders of teachers. “That is why it is so important to FEDSAS to honour teachers this year. We want to encourage learners and parents, big and small, everyone who has contact with a school community in some way, to use FEDSAS’ social media on 5 October to acknowledge teachers in the same way that medical professionals are acknowledged. The challenges might not be the same but the ways in which teachers had to adapt and the sacrifices they had to made were by no means less.”