The Swahili proverb “Asiye funzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu” is recognisable, after translation, both across Africa – where there are many similar sayings – and the world.
It means, simply, that it takes a whole community to raise a child.
From early childhood through to early adulthood, educators mould our futures by encouraging, enabling and inspiring us. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we learn lessons so much wider than the curriculum - lessons that last a lifetime.
And this is why now, more than ever, we need to recognise that the skills, efforts and selflessness it takes to run a classroom are just as valuable (and rare) as those needed to run a boardroom.
Teachers are the education experts to whom we must listen. It’s their ability to develop solutions to educational problems and issues, and the importance of their judgements, that should guide our policies. And it’s teachers who should be advising on the evolution of the educational environment.
Teachers are what we all have in common; they hold the key to the future and, with it, help us unlock our potential.
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