World Teachers’ Day focuses on freedom of educators

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The focus is on the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of teachers.

The United Nations celebrates the day internationally on October 5.

To ensure that teachers get the acknowledgement they deserve, the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) celebrates World Teachers’ Day in South Africa on the first Friday of the fourth term.

This year the date is October 13.

“Free and accessible education is the cornerstone of a successful education system. The more children with access to quality education, the brighter a country’s future,” said dr Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO of Fedsas.

“Then, when children enter the system, they have to be in the hands of teachers who are equipped for the task – in other words educators who are well-trained and who can do their work in a system designed to support them.”

The role of Fedsas in the education chain is to equip governing bodies in order to contribute to quality education.

“A well-managed school allows teachers the freedom to focus on education in the classroom. It is a governing body’s duty to create, through proper school governance, an environment that supports children and teachers in the learning process,” said Deacon.

“Poor school governance has a long-term negative impact not only on the school and the school community, but also on the future of the learners and society in general. At the same time proper school governance is an investment in society and the future of the country.”

Freedom goes hand-in-hand with responsibility.

Deacon said it is a school community’s duty to see to it that all education role-players, including children and teachers, are not merely satisfied with the minimum acceptable standard.

“Freedom also refers to the professional freedom of educators to develop and transfer subject content creatively and not simply adhering to departmental workbooks or minimum curriculum outcomes.”

Fedsas encourages all South Africans to celebrate their teachers on October 13, irrespective of where they are.

“If you are close to your old school, visit or send a message. People are also welcome to share stories and memories on Fedsas’ social media platforms, using the hashtag ‘ThanksTeacher’,” said Deacon.

Ischke de Jager

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