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Archbishop praises the work of educators

Archbishop Gordon addresses the gathering.

As Term III of the 2020–2021 academic year ended July 2, Archbishop Jason Gordon has publicly praised the work of educators during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an end of term message to principals, teachers and other staff, the Archbishop said, “What a time you had! You have been forced into a digital workspace with very little preparation, and you have done amazing things. You’ve even kept up with those who weren’t digital, and you had to prepare work for them.”

As he saluted their achievement of the past 15 months when education institutions were closed March 13, 2020, Archbishop Gordon acknowledged they also had to keep up with their own families. “You have done amazing things,” he commented.

He was sure they were now ready for a “huge exhale”, and he too exhaled with them.

Archbishop Gordon said he was praying in thanksgiving for all the work done by the teachers who went beyond the call of duty in many ways for their students. He thanked God for their work and lives.

“You have seen education as a vocation; a call from God, and you have responded in such incredible ways”.

The Archbishop acknowledged  principals suddenly had to lead a digital institution, and they “learnt quickly” to give guidance and direction. He also praised them for allowing their best teachers to innovate and take the school where it needed to go.

Archbishop Gordon called the educators the “frontline” for the next generation because much of what they did would have an influence. He asked them to remember a significant teacher who made an impact in their life. From his own experience, there were impactful teachers in both primary and secondary schools that he still remembers.

“That says something to you, because I can’t remember a lot of people who made a difference in my life but a teacher, yes, I remember, and there are children in your class today who will 20, 30, 50 years from now will say, ‘I remember a teacher and I remember they helped me through when I did not think I can’. Be that teacher for your children.”

In a media release July 2, the Education Ministry said the 2020–2021 academic year was “historic”.

It stated, “This now-concluded academic year has been a historic one. Thrust into the virtual world by the circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, Trinidad and Tobago has had to conduct a full school year with all ECCE and primary students, and most secondary and post-secondary students away from our physical school plants. This has been no easy feat.”

While there were many challenges, the release said the resilience shown by citizens was admirable. Mentioned were teachers who embraced the Ministry’s upskilling opportunities, parents, Ministry staff who brought innovation and adaptability, the business community which donated 22,000 devices and connectivity to those who needed.

Minister of Education, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, and Minister in the Ministry of Education, Lisa Morris-Julian expressed their appreciation for the stakeholders who made the academic year possible.

“Transforming education will take all of our efforts, and we have made significant progress this year, notwithstanding the challenges which we still face. This pandemic has taught us that resilience is a key quality to thrive in this world,” the release stated. —LPG