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Taught for Naught

Read somewhere in today's <a href="http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg">paper</a> that British teachers worked longer hours than managers and other professionals. On top of that, many teachers in England resort to moonlighting in order to stay out of debt.
This is not news to any developed country on the face of the earth. The debacle between the teachers and the government of the United States has been going on for years. Though Singapore has yet to experience such an outburst from its teacher population, it is becoming evident that the teaching profession in Singapore is undergoing a lot of stress, much of which is unnecessary. As I blog this, Faith, who is a teacher, sits in the background still grading homework and writing progress reports. It's past midnight.
The teacher used to be the most respected of professions. It didn't seem too long ago when a lot of respect was given to one who passed knowledge down to the younger generation. Asian tradition elevates the teacher to a position equal to that of a parent, if not more so. Yet as we look upon the teaching profession today, how can anyone be expected to give it any respect when governments themselves ignore the basic day to day needs of teachers everywhere?
I have many friends who major in education with the noble intention of become an educator. They know the hours and are aware of the financial rewards, or lack of it. They want to change the world, a child at a time, and hope that somehow their lives will find meaning in their endeavours. I cannot even begin to stress the importance of the role that these people play in our society. It is possible to go through life without ever seeing a banker, a lawyer or a computer programmer. But it is not so with a teacher. For children everywhere, the word of the teacher is the gospel truth, and the seed of the future is sowed by these unappreciated people who toil night and day.
Wake up world. Quit worshipping the computer genius or business whizkids. Quit paying homage to the rich and famous. They would be nothing were it not for the teachers that had shaped them thus. Give credit where credit is due. And put your money where your mouth is.
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