The traditional Speech4Teachers event held on 7 October 2020, this year was dedicated to marking International Teacher’s Day. The role of teachers in the education and development of children is huge and that was exactly the topic on which many educational experts, practitioners and policymakers spoke.
MILA CAROVSKA, the Minister of Education and Science addressed the audience and stressed the importance and role of teachers in the educational process, but also in the development of children. The Minister said that teachers, regardless of the ethnic community they come from, are the most important in these processes and are the key link in the transfer of knowledge to students.
“Our country is beautiful because it is full of diversity, which creates a whole. I believe in equality and my personal commitment is for every girl and boy, no matter where they live, through the education system, to be built into a person who respects and nurtures civil rights, tolerance and diversity. Every child first needs to be literate, to get a basic knowledge, and later in life to specialize in order to be able to respond to the labor market, but the most important thing is to be educated in the spirit of tolerance and multiculturalism. That is why we need you teachers who know how to pass on the real knowledge and values to your students”, said Carovska.
FANI KARANFILOVA-PANOVSKA, Executive Director of the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia congratulated the International Teachers’ Day to all and underlined that the Foundation believes that investing in quality inclusive education is a prerequisite for building an open democratic society and perceives education as a key promoter of social cohesion. Schools are places where all students will be given the opportunity to reach their maximum potential, and this cannot be achieved without good and dedicated teachers.
“So far, the foundation has invested over $ 33 million in programs to support education, and many of them were dedicated to teachers, as well as to the education of marginalized groups, especially Roma. At the moment, with the financial support of the EU, we are implementing a large three-year project “Stay at School: Action for Inclusion of Roma in Primary Education.” The project provides scholarships for a total of 600 elementary school students from the poorest Roma families and these days we are running a joint campaign with the Ministry of Education entitled “Write your future one letter at a time” with the firm belief that we will not allow any child to be left out of the education system”, pointed out Karanfilova-Panovska.
SUZANA KIRANDZISKA, Executive Director of the Step by Step Foundation pointed out that this year’s theme “The role of the teacher in the new reality” does not only mean the new reality caused by the pandemic due to which teachers had to cope without elementary conditions online teaching but also of the constant changes that are happening in the world, which are happening much faster.
“In order to keep up with change, teachers must take the initiative and responsibility for their personal and professional development, not wait for someone else to tell them what to learn, or even worse, not want to learn and upgrade,” because they are dissatisfied with their status in society. “It is true that the state should provide conditions for quality teaching, but if it does not do that, teachers are obliged to demand it and to be leaders in the changes brought by the new times,” said Kirandziska.
The event was organized by the Foundation Open Society-Macedonia and the Foundation for Educational and Cultural Initiatives “Step by Step” as part of the project “Education of the Smaller Ethnic Communities” implemented by the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Foundation Open Society – Macedonia (FOSM) is implementing the project “Education of the Smaller Ethnic Communities” in partnership with the Foundation for Educational and Cultural Initiatives “Step by Step” and the Directorate for Promotion and Development of Education in the Languages of the Communities and the Bureau for Development of Education.
—————————————————8 October 2020