…as World Teachers’ Day celebratedThe Department of Education, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), hosted more than 300 teachers at an interfaith service and brunch, as part of World Teachers’ Day celebrations.The teachers who were honoured pose with REDO Tiffany Favourite-Harvey (centre)Teachers from as far as Mahaica to Soesdyke Highway attended the function, which was held at the Multipurpose Hall at Bladen Hall Multilateral School.The celebrations were held to express gratitude and to commend the teachers for their invaluable support and contributions in moulding the nation’s future leaders.Acting Regional Education Officer (REDO) Tiffany Favourite-Harvey stated that teachers in her region continued to give selflessly and urged those present to remain committed, disciplined and steadfast in their profession, adding that they would be rewarded in the near future.“Today’s occasion is specially organised to thank God for you, our teachers and to show respect and to pay reverence and gratitude to you for your selfless efforts while enriching the education system in the process. You have inspired our children to pursue further, and to prepare them to withstand obstacles that may confront their lives. However, it is expected that our teachers would continue to strive for perfection; as to your students, you are their heroes.”Meanwhile, Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) representative Collis Nicholson admonished those gathered to ensure that all children were prepared to learn and take their place in society. He stressed on the fact that teachers must receive effective training and support that equips them to respond to the needs of all students, including the most marginalised.He added that teachers’ shortages were hampering efforts to achieve equitable, inclusive, quality education for all. This, he noted, is particularly true in countries beset by widespread poverty and protracted crises and in regions where the youth population is growing rapidly.“To meet the demand for new teachers, education authorities often employ individuals with little or no training by lowering qualification requirements. Some teachers are asked to teach subjects for which they have no pedagogical training. Despite widespread recognition, teachers are key to achieving quality education for all; teaching is still not widely regarded as a valued profession. Its low prestige impedes efforts to recruit and retain teachers in rich and poor areas alike,” Nicholson argued.The GTU senior official noted that it was the Union’s view that the most marginalised and excluded children tend to be taught by the least experienced teachers, who may be on temporary contracts and receive no pre-service or in-service training.The senior Region Four GTU official declared that teachers must receive quality initial teacher education, effective induction into the profession, and have opportunities for high-quality professional development to hone their skills throughout their careers.“They must demonstrate to the public that teaching is a valued profession by providing decent salaries and improving working conditions for educators at all levels of education,” Nicholson stated.Also speaking at the function was Region Four Regional Executive Officer (REO) Pauline Lucas, who saluted the teachers for being a special set of people given their unbelievable love. She added that she respected their service as a symbol to the country and remained a supporter.The teachers were treated to a series of performances from some of their colleagues. The gathering also saw some teachers receiving awards for being the youngest and the oldest in the teaching profession.