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After 24 years, Cape teacher still finds job rewarding

Fagan Petersen has stressed the importance of celebrating World Teachers' Day on Thursday.

Kensington educator Fagan Petersen. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - A Kensington educator says he still finds his job rewarding, after 24 years of being in the trade.

Fagan Petersen, who has been teaching at Kensington High School for the past 16 years, has stressed the importance of celebrating World Teachers' Day on Thursday.

The grade 10 English and Life Orientation educator says he's passionate about working with children and giving back to the community.

“The reward for me is the smile on a learner’s face when they understand the work you’ve explained, or when an ex-learner comes to you and they’ve made a success of their life.”

Petersen says, however, his job also comes with challenges, which are mostly caused by social ills.

“When I started we could use canes, but the children were respectful back then. Today, there is a no work ethic among children. There is a complete difference in the children we’re teaching.”

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has adopted ‘The Year of the Teacher’ as a theme this year to reflect teachers commitment.

Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schäfer says World Teachers' Day is an opportunity to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development across the world.

“The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) selected 5 October to celebrate the achievements of teachers and to highlight teachers’ concerns and priorities regarding education.”

Schäfer says they acknowledge teachers who inspire pupils to do their best.

“Our head of department, Mr Brian Schreuder proposed 2017 as the 'Year of the Teacher' in order to emphasise the importance of values in education, and the central role that teachers play in teaching and demonstrating these values in the classroom.”

The WCED has identified six core values that drive its approach to public service as caring, competence, accountability, integrity, innovation and responsiveness.

“So many people in the WCED are already demonstrating these values in countless ways.

“We will also be using the Year of the Teacher to encourage school communities to identify excellent teachers and principals who are outstanding examples and make a massive difference in our schools and communities.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)