WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY: Salesian Missions highlights programs that support teachers
Salesian teachers rise to the challenges they face in some of the poorest countries around the globe
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and countries around the globe in honoring World Teachers’ Day celebrated each year on Oct. 5. The day honors the vital role that teachers play in the lives of their students. Since 1994, World Teachers’ Day has been held annually and commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has noted that the theme for this year’s World Teachers’ Day is “The transformation of education begins with teachers.” The day will address the commitments and calls for action made at the Transforming Education Summit, held in September 2022.
UNESCO will also hold a series of events showcasing how guaranteeing teachers’ decent working conditions, access to professional development opportunities and a recognized professional status is a first step toward more resilient education systems.
Teachers play an important role in the lives of poor youth in Salesian schools. Their work is vital to their students’ success both in and out of the classroom. Salesian missionaries educate more than 1 million youth in over 5,500 schools and youth centers and nearly 1,000 vocational, technical and agricultural schools in more than 130 countries around the globe.
“Salesian teachers rise to the challenges they face in some of the poorest countries around the globe,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Almost all students in Salesian schools have faced conditions of poverty or are marginalized in some way. Some were previously living and working on the streets, and others have faced war as child soldiers or become refugees in war-torn communities. Salesian teachers, who often come from similar backgrounds, meet these challenges head-on, providing education and hope for a brighter future.”
In honor and celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2022, Salesian Missions is proud to highlight the work of Salesian teachers and programs that support them around the globe.
The Salesian Father Miguel Bonuccelli Institute of Higher Studies, based in Río Grande, Argentina, has graduated 32 new teachers who have taken courses in initial education, primary education and music education. The music program was first launched in 2017, and these are the first graduates of the program.
During the graduation ceremony, the new teachers each lit a candle to represent their dedication and responsibility to the teaching profession. Father Claudia Simón, rector of the institute, said, “We have dreamed of this program for many years, but now we have the first graduates of the training course for music teachers. As Don Bosco said, ‘A Salesian house without music is like a body without a soul.’”
In closing his remarks, Fr. Simón added, “As a community, we are pleased because the objectives set have largely been achieved, and the result is you the new teachers who leave this Salesian house today with the certainty that it will always be your home. Educators who take on the responsibility and commitment to exercise their ministry and their profession on the basis of an ethics anchored to human and evangelical values, eager to listen, respecting the reality of every boy and girl.”
Salesian Father Miguel Bonuccelli Institute of Higher Studies has issued certifications valid at the national level since 1979. After 42 years of work, it continues to train professionals committed to inclusive education.
Teachers from the Salesian Institute of Concepción in Chile recently took part in continuing education to strengthen their skills. With a focus on teamwork, teachers participated in workshops and games centered on achieving common goals. In addition, teachers attended sessions to learn about the importance of protecting mental, physical and emotional health. The training wrapped up with an educational session on Google Drive tools, which will allow teachers to optimize their work and keep up-to-date.
The Salesian-run SAVIO in Slovakia launched the 17th annual public fundraising campaign Tehlička (the Brick) to raise funds to help build new accommodations for teachers in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. The campaign started at the beginning of Lent in March and will run through October. In addition to raising funds, the campaign is helping to educate the public about the needs of people in the poorest countries around the globe.
SAVIO is working together with Salesians in Kenya to support their efforts among the local population and refugees living in the camp. The local Salesian school offers high-quality education, but there is a growing teacher shortage. Many teachers are afraid to move to this remote region. The goal is to build accommodations that will offer teachers a safe environment so they can focus on teaching young students.
Nepal Don Bosco Society organized a teacher training program called “Empowering Teachers” in the city of Manthali, Nepal. The three-day program provided training to teachers and administrators from 10 schools in four districts that were rebuilt after the 2015 earthquakes. The training team included Father Stephen Biswakarma, principal of the higher secondary section of Nepal Don Bosco School in Siddhipur-Lubhu, who shared life experiences in providing quality education to students.
There were 31 participants who came to learn how to revamp policies and strategies to provide holistic education to students. Session topics included child-friendly teaching, best practices of the schools, personality of the teacher, media impact on student life and back to nature. The participants and school authorities were appreciative of the ongoing effort of Nepal Don Bosco Society to support schools with such programs.
Twenty Salesian missionaries at nine different centers in the country’s eastern, central and far western regions are working to rebuild the educational foundation in Nepal. A host of relief and recovery programs were undertaken in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes and continue with the goal of providing quality and value-based academic and technical education in the country.
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UNESCO – World Teachers’ Day