The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development through its International Education Coordination Unit has successfully hosted the 2021 World Teachers Day on 5th October. The event is celebrated annually under the UNESCO official calendar which Solomon Islands National Commission for UNESCO is leading in collaboration with Teaching Service Division of the Ministry.
MEHRD commemorated the event along with teachers from Honiara and few Guadalcanal schools with an opening ecumenical service at the Holy Cross Cathedral. The service was led by Bishop Epalle Catholic School teachers, followed by a parade from the Holy Cross Cathedral to the National Museum Auditorium where the formal program was held. Gracing the Ecumenical service was the Minister for Education, Hon. Lanelle Tanagada, who emphasized the need for change, more specifically, ensuring students’ wellbeing for learning as well as Equity and Inclusion for all learners. The Hon. Minister reiterated to teachers on providing quality teaching and learning as frontiers at the heart of Education Change.
Whilst the global theme of World Teachers’ Day 2021 is “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery” the Solomon Islands theme is “Teachers at the Heart of Change Today and Beyond”. This year’s focus is on honouring teachers and their service to the country with the intent of advocating that teachers are at the heart of change today and beyond, recognising teachers and their contributions to education delivery in Solomon Islands and acknowledging and appreciating teachers’ roles and importance for the development of Solomon Islands.
Despite the fears of COVID-19 and its impacts on schools, it is important that teachers are guided on what they need to do to ensure that teaching and learning continues. This year MEHRD has again stood together with the rest of the teachers around the globe to celebrate the expertise, energy, passion and dedication of teachers who strive every day to ensure that an inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities become a reality for all.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, who was the guest speaker of the day, thanked teachers for their indispensable service provided “…teachers are the pride and joy of our country…. a national treasure worth celebrating…” He further added teachers as truly the backbone of society, being role models, offering guidance and dedication and giving young people the power of education. Teachers are enablers to further develop Solomon Islands socially, economically, culturally and spiritually.
Dr. Rodie, in giving his official address, highlighted teachers as the heart of change today and beyond giving reflections on why teachers are regarded agents of change, the importance to recognising teachers’ contributions to education delivery as well as the roles teachers play in preparing future generations.
The PS specifically encouraged teachers to strike a balance between the emphasis placed on students’ academic success and students’ wellbeing.
The event was attended by teachers and representatives from Education Authorities, Development Partners (DFAT & MFAT), Education Stakeholders (SINU, USPSI), SINTA, Local NGOs (COESI), Prime Minister’s Office, Teaching Service Commission and Teacher Retirees.