Restore honour to teaching profession
Teaching is fondly referred to as the noble profession. It is a calling, not a trade.
However, there has been a growing change in perception among students about the profession and just a handful of them say they dream of becoming teachers when they complete secondary school.
Perhaps, this could be attributed to the fragile nature of the profession, where teachers are not only expected to deliver in tough working conditions but also their modest pay.
Over the years, teachers have been working in difficult circumstances despite the critical role they play in shaping society, which calls for concerted efforts to change this trend.
As the World Teachers Day was celebrated on Tuesday, some education stakeholders said the occasion came at a time when many tutors are disoriented, demotivated, and feel abandoned, especially at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating education inequalities.
For Kenya’s already fragile education system, the stakeholders say the Covid-19 pandemic had generated unprecedented challenges for teachers, learners and parents.
This is in addition to exposing some of the cracks on the system especially on poor infrastructure development, low budgetary allocations, teacher shortage, inadequate resources and the hurried implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Education is one of the most productive assets that many people will ever own and teachers are key in achieving all education agenda targets.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) acknowledges that had tutors failed to support the government in reopening schools last October after the long closure owing to Covid-19, efforts to recover the lost academic time would have come to naught.
Consequently, teachers have been at the centre of resuscitating academic programmes after Covid-19 and have beaten all odds and shone in various aspects of their career.
TSC on Tuesday, honoured 31 teachers, in conformity with the TSC Performance Recognition, Reward and Sanction Policy Framework.
The Commission should, however, keep its word that it would recommend more teachers for recognition at various levels in line with government policy, since the more than 300,000 of them are doing a commendable job.
We also honour the 90 teachers who have succumbed to Covid-19 over the past year, some of them in the middle of their tireless efforts to ensure learning in our schools was back on track.
It is about time that as a country, we restored respect and honour to the teaching profession.