TUTUME: University of Botswana Professor Otukile Phibion under the music department has implored on the government to prioritise on education just like countries such as Finland, Germany and Singapore.
When giving a keynote address during the Teachers Day commemorations held at Shumba Lodge, Phibion said that countries such as Finland, Germany and Singapore uplifted their economies by prioritising in education.
He said: “Remember in Finland teachers are most valued and those who get exceptional grades in secondary school go for teaching and people who get lower grades go to other professions. The situation is the reverse here because teaching is undermined”.
He added that the theory undertaken by Finland towards absorbing teachers makes the country one of the best performing nations on provision of quality education.
Phibion said that these countries regard teaching as the number one profession as they know that teachers are of paramount importance in transforming their nations and economies.
He strongly believes that teachers play a catalytic role in the ongoing processes of social transformation.
He further said that research has cited quality education as the most prominent dynamism for alleviating poverty, improving health and livelihoods, shaping and encompassing sustainable peaceful societies.
Phibion said that teachers as transformation agents in education need to take into consideration that those explanatory practices of the old classroom are no longer applicable in the 21st century.
He encouraged the teachers to develop
He added that teachers need to create a learner-centred classroom environment.
“The 21st century classroom should be more centred on students and teachers should take the role of facilitators hence the introduction of the Outcome Based Education (OBE). Teachers should do 30% of the work and students should partake 70% whilst they are being monitored,” he said.
Phibion said that if students are being told something they would pretend to have understood whereas when they do the work the teachers would be assured that learning is taking place.
He also said that the teacher should cultivate in learners, ideas of citizenship censured in genuine obligations to ecological development, impartiality and peace building within diverse multicultural contexts.
He said that teachers are better positioned to make an impact on the student’s personal lives and social coherence as well as country’s economic performance by being good role models.
He said that it is therefore imperative that teachers need to develop competencies regarding educational change including critical analysis, curriculum design and implementation.
Phibion encouraged the school leadership to enhance motivation, morale and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms.