By: Amara Kargbo
The Sierra Leone Teaching Service Commission (TSC) together with teachers has joined with over 100 countries in commemorating World Teachers Day, a moment when they are recognized as pivotal people in national development.
In celebrating with its theme “Young Teachers,” TSC depicted the future of the profession, neither consider the age profile of teachers in sierra Leone that has a youthful force which it percentage in Sierra Leone that sixty percent of teachers are younger than 41years, but majority leave after five years in the service that really depicts the teaching force is fragile and lacks resilience.
Dr. Staneala M. Beckley Chairperson of TSC noted that there are numerous challenges they do face in the profession, like the profession also goes with little or no motivation to stay and make teaching a long-life career but teachers leave as soon as they find options that suit their goals and aspirations, without motivation to continue and TSC does lose the dynamism and freshness of ideas that young teachers can bring into the profession and only sixteen out of a hundred teachers stay till their retirement age of 60 years.
She celebrated teachers who are among the few who acquire the vast and rich experience treasure to nurture young minds, to groom, influence and accompany students till they leave school.
TSC further acknowledged their gratitude, the service of teachers, who despite the odd, have chosen to stay till the end, she said “they are like god, whose value is never diminished.”
TSC aligned it with its mission that to make teaching a life-long career for newly recruited young teachers, especially a seed that is freshly planted needs the most basic ingredients for it survive, thrive and develop to its fullest potential.
She continued that as young teachers grow and mature in the profession, accumulating new knowledge, skills and competencies and work ethic, they will develop the power to transform young minds, to become genuine role models, effecting real change in pupils desire to learn, to achieve good results and become good citizens.
With the dynamism and vibrancy of young teachers and wisdom and leadership of more experienced teachers “we can achieve the kind of change from within that spirals outwards into our society, as their slogan goes, Better Teacher, Stronger Nation.”
She also disclosed that the issue of teachers is attached with leadership and government that believe in the power of young people.
“One may ask, how we can celebrate teachers in the midst of the scandals and poor pupil performance that denigrate this noble profession and tarnish its image, a profession that was once hailed as the Mother of All Profession.”
The chairperson aforementioned that with proper induction and licensing of new teachers, better conditions of service for all teachers, opportunities for mentoring and aspiring to higher level of competency, recognition and reward of dedicated and high performing teachers.
The Chairperson reiterated that TSC will continue to advocate with the government for the personal and economic wellbeing of teachers for the rights of those teachers who left without their benefits.