TEACHERS’S Day is celebrated on May 16 every year as a mark of appreciation of their contributions in teaching and educating students who are our nation’s invaluable assets.
Teachers should be recognised and appreciated at all times, those who are serving and those who had served, particularly those who had left a legacy and deep impression on us.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Builders of knowledge and character” which aptly describes the role of teachers.
Teaching is a very noble profession that is imperative for nation building.
I share the view that those who aspire to join the teaching profession must not only love teaching but also love children and see them through their education.
Teachers have the opportunity to educate and mould the students into future leaders.
They can also play an important role in encouraging school-going children of all races to interact and mingle with one another to promote inter-racial understanding and accelerate the process of social cohesion, integration and unity.
Character development is an important objective of our education system and we need to approach it systematically.
For such programmes to be successful, a total approach, where opportunities for character development permeate different aspects of the school curriculum and environment is needed.
Every experience a child goes through, be it in classroom lessons, the various relationships, the disciplinary measures and co-curricular activities, will each have an impact on the development of a child’s character, values and disposition.
That is why I believe that to start this critical nation-building process of developing the next generation of leaders we need to instil a character-based culture following a systematic and proven methodology of character first.
Parents have to be a collaborative partners in the task of balancing the academic skills of students with the need for character training.
The success of our education system is judged not only by the academic achievements of our students but also the quality of the people the education system produces – their knowledge, their integrity, their character; their attitude, their ability to be team-players, and their sense of responsibility and commitment to the nation and the community they belong.
Indeed, the character, attitudes and values of our young are essential aspects we have to mould and nurture.
While it is important that our students perform well at important national examinations and win accolades in international competitions, of equal importance is their holistic development.
We have to ensure that their whole personality is balanced so that our students’ development takes into account the moral, cognitive, physical, social and aesthetic aspects.
Teachers determine the educational experience of each child. They play a pivotal role in building the character of the students.
They are not only important role models. They can also open the door to a world of discovery and learning through engaging and meaningful discussions and thoughtful reflection following a child’s experience.
Such experiences should lead to positive learning. Thus, the teacher plays a critical role to shape and reinforce the proper learning outcomes. Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye Trustee 1 Malaysia Foundation The STAR Home News Opinion Letters May 18, 2015