Teachers deserve wider recognition – school inspector

A veteran educator, Lafaitele Aiga Esera, has made a plea for the country to do more to celebrate the role of teachers as Samoa marked Teachers' Day last weekend. 

Lafaitele, a former veteran school principal who is now the school inspector for the Sagaga District on Upolu, said the contribution of teachers needed to be celebrated all-year round.

She said Teachers Day is important because educators lay the foundations of learning for the other professions in society and their role should not be downplayed. 

“Behind all the other professions, lies the important work of teachers who work effortlessly in making sure that our children [are] well-educated,” she said. 

“We only celebrate their roles once a year and we should use this day to appreciate the hard work they do and their contribution to Samoa; [teachers] play a very vital role in our society.

“We need to celebrate, motivate and encourage our teachers.

“Commemorating Teachers' Day provides our teachers with the opportunity to come together and share their experiences and skills and learn from one another.”

Lafaitele believes age should not be an obstacle to good classroom performance, and used the occasion to remind everyone that she turned 70-years-old last week. 

“I celebrated my 70th birthday last week, and have been in the profession for so many years, yet I still feel like I haven’t done enough," she said.

“Even though I have come this far, I still feel that there is still more that I need to offer.

“[Teaching ability] isn’t measured in how old a person is. Instead we should look at [the] need there is for more teachers in the country.

“The old ones who have been teaching for more than 30 or 40 years [should not] have to stay at home when they know they have the knowledge and skills on how to get things done.

“That is something I want to encourage; for other fellow teachers to keep going and never give up.”

She also used the opportunity to encourage prospective students to take up teaching as a career path.

"I want to encourage anyone who has a passion for teaching and for our children to choose teaching," she said.

"[You] nurture the future leaders of this country. We need more dedicated people who have the passion and the drive to teach.”

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