TEACHERS really work hard, no doubt about that. They, for instance, do not show up in class, only to sit behind a desk – like their learners do.
Instead, teachers stand all day, talk all day, think all day (perhaps even all night), interact with people of other professions or laymen all day and, most importantly, they learn all day.
We all agree that every child, no matter where they come from, deserves such great teachers.
This is because passionate, motivating, and effective teachers are the foundation of a quality education – and quality education essentially opens the doors to one’s lifetime of opportunity.
It is, therefore, common knowledge that quality education is key to one’s upward social, political and economic mobility.
World-over, all influential personalities obviously passed through the hands of a teacher.
These may be politicians, captains of industry, medical doctors, engineers, rocket scientists, inventors of kinds, teachers themselves, et cetera and et cetera.
In our country, like many Third World countries, the liberation struggle (from colonialism that is) was mainly spearheaded by teachers.
Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda was, for instance, a teacher before he and his colleagues took up arms to fight the British colonialists.
Just across the Zambezi River, former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe was a teacher, who even taught at Zambia’s Chalimbana College. The list of one-time teachers who later became heads of State of their own countries is endless.
It is for these and other reasons that teachers are considered to be an extremely important facet of any society. Their role in society is both significant and valuable.
In many societies, especially rural communities, teachers are held in very high esteem to the extent that parents whose children they teach have often resorted to pay them in kind.
This happens particularly to those teachers teaching at rural community schools and do not draw a salary like their counterparts who teach in well-established Government and private schools.
Parents who team up and contribute whatever they can to the well-being of these teachers know that the teachers continue to play a very important role in moulding their children’s personality and shaping them into who they are supposed to be in future.
So, teachers play an extraordinary part in the lives of children for the formative years of their development and, therefore, their importance of these professionals is something that cannot be understated.
Besides contributing to each aspect of society, teachers’ influence touches all people’s lives.
It is precisely for these reasons that the importance of a teacher, as an architect of the future generations, demands that only the best and the most intelligent and competent members of the intelligentsia be allowed to qualify for this noble profession.
It, is, therefore, sad to learn that teachers at Chimfunshi Riverbend School in Chililabombwe spend nights in the storeroom due to a lack of houses.
And we agree with the National Action for Quality Education in Zambia that has appealed to the Government to provide accommodation for these teachers. The reason is simple: Teachers deserve just about the best treatment.