“The education system can only benefit from a cadre of qualified teachers” (+Video)
The education system can only benefit if there are a cadre of qualified teachers at various levels and geographical locations in this country.
Prominent lawyer, Israel Bruce shared this thought at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union rally last Friday at the Bishops’ College Hardcourt.
The rally was preceded by a march through Kingstown in commemoration of the 1975 Teachers’ strike, which has become popularly known as Teargas Day.
“I know that the struggles of 1975 saw a brutal point as a consequence of political calculation. And teachers may not want at their rally for political issues to be addressed, but the issues of 1975 came out of political decisions,” Bruce, who has also worked as a teacher, said.
“I made the point so that you can understand and appreciate that irregardless (sic) of the political party in office, whether it is the ULP or it is the NDP or it is the Green Party or it is the DRP, no matter which political party, understand that they have a responsibility to the citizens and they not doing you a favour in education.”
The featured speaker said that governments have an international obligation to ensure free education at the elementary and fundamental stages to all citizens.
Bruce also said that education was a sure way out of poverty and that there was an “inextricable link between education, poverty, wealth and the health of a nation”.
In addressing educators, the lawyer said that teachers should never stop trying to increase their knowledge so that they can better perform their duties in the classroom.
And he added that teachers should not be transferred from certain schools to other schools once they have obtained higher levels of qualification.
“It cannot be questioned in my mind, that the greater the ratio of qualified teachers and I may add committed teachers, the brilliant will be the outcome of our nation’s youth,” he said. “The education system can only benefit from a cadre of qualified teachers and they must be at the various levels and in the various geographic locations.”
Wendy Bynoe, president of the SVGTU also delivered remarks at the rally.
She said that teachers, in 1975 were forced to take to the streets to bring attention to the plight of teachers. And it is for that reason that the union seeks to pay tribute to the stalwarts that led teachers through those “difficult times”.
Bynoe also said that despite the progress in the last 43 years, there are still challenges that must be addressed.
“I will not bore you by listing them now. We, your union and its leaders stand resolute and ready to address them all. I therefore call for unity, loyalty and commitment to our cause. The struggle continues…” the president said.
Teachers, Miriam Roache and Julian Jack were presented with plaques for their extensive contribution to the profession and the union.
The march and rally was one of several events last week that were a part of the Teachers’ Solidarity Week celebrations.