The Leader of the Opposition, The Honourable Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC on Wednesday issued the following statement to mark World Teachers’ Day, which is being observed globally today – Wednesday, 5th October 2016:
“On this special day dedicated to recognizing the role and work of teachers I join the rest of the World Community in expressing gratitude and thanks to our teachers who have helped in shaping our society and preparing future generations for the role they will play in taking our society forward.
“In 1994, UNESCO proclaimed 5 October to be World Teachers’ Day at a special intergovernmental conference in Paris that adopted the UNESCO/ILO recommendation on the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and established international standards for teachers. The intention was to promote the status of teachers in the interest of quality education.
“The theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day is Valuing teachers, improving their status. It recognizes the responsibility that teachers undertake in shaping the values and education of our children and young adults.
“Teaching is a stressful undertaking. That is why we must be grateful for the individual efforts of teachers and also partner with them for a holistic approach to education that includes the classroom, the home and the community.
“We live in an ever-changing globalized world in which change is an inevitable factor in our daily lives. This means that education and teaching must adjust and adapt to cope with these necessary challenges.
“That is why as Prime Minister (and Education Minister before that) my focus had been on improving educational opportunities for students, providing training and professional development opportunities for teachers and creating the infrastructure to advance education from Early Childhood to Tertiary.
“In Trinidad and Tobago we are fortunate to have a partnership with religious boards that operate schools alongside the secular state schools. This working arrangement has allowed us to explore diverse ways in educating our children, and our teachers have always risen to the daily challenges.
On behalf of my family, my extended UNC family, and myself, I extend our sincerest thanks to teachers at home in Trinidad and Tobago and everywhere for their dedication and commitment to the education of future generations who will build a better world.