Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Church in Grenada, Monsignor Carl Haynes has exhorted the nation’s teachers to remember that in these challenging times of COVID-19 that they still have a responsibility to take care of the education of the children under their care.
Delivering the church service at the St. Dominic’s R.C. Church on Sunday to mark the start of Teacher’s Month on the island, Fr. Haynes who is in charge of the local church reminded the teachers about their role and commitment towards the development of each child in their own classroom.
“If you cannot love every child entrusted to your care try something else –forget about teaching,” he told the small gathering due to restrictions on church gathering due to Social Distancing as a result of the virus.
“As a teacher myself I know how difficult it is sometime to love every student in your class but we have to do it because they are in our care and we have a responsibility to ensure that they are educated,” he said to the congregation that included a few teachers.
The Roman Catholic priest stressed that the role and responsibility of the teacher is to ensure that no child in the classroom is left behind and that every child is able to learn and move ahead in life.
He said: “Every student can learn. There is no such thing that a child can’t learn. Every child has the ability to learn. We all learn at different levels. There are those who are faster than others – there are those much slower than others and we must be patient with them.
“We must care for them – journey with them and ensure that when they leave our care and they move on to another grade they move on a better student. How we get them in our class we must ensure we pass them on better students,” he added.
Fr. Carl went on: “I say hats off to you and continue doing the great job that you are doing”.
The Concord, St John-born clergyman also celebrated a landmark Sunday as it marked 12 years since he officially became a priest in Grenada under the hands of late Catholic Bishop, Vincent Darius.
1st Vice President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Jude Bartholomew who attended the mass thanked the priest for his words of encouragement and gave a reminder about the problems plaguing the teaching profession on the island.
Referring to the sermon as “thought provoking and inspiring”, Bartholomew said that the GUT as part of “our great Christian tradition” has always sought “to place Almighty God at the center of our celebrations”.
“We constantly seek His blessings in the things that we do and upon our lives as we join together to celebrate teachers’ month and one hundred and seven years as a strong and united Grenada Union of Teachers, under the theme: ‘Leading in challenging times.’
According to Bartholomew, the teachers of the nation have always demonstrated “invaluable sacrifices, unwavering commitment, dedication, and devotion” to help in the task to uplift the educational standards in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
“Our Teachers are the finest and the best, faithful to the call of duty, both generous and sacrificial in time and efforts, professional in the execution of duties, unwavering in our commitment and responsibilities to students, parents, community and our nation,” he said.
He lamented the fact that the nation’s teachers are not shown and also given the respect due to them in light of their unconditional generosity and invaluable sacrifices over the years to the profession.
Bartholomew said: “While we celebrate our achievement, deep in our hearts, our teachers and workers cry out to the nation and to the church for social and economic justice.
- Hear our cry as we struggle through the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Hear our cry as we struggle for a just pension and gratuity.
- Hear our cry as we struggle for our docked salary.
- Hear our cry as we struggle with E-learning, limited resources and inadequate devices.
- Hear our cry as we face many challenges and unjust criticism and pressure from many places.
- Hear our cry as we seek permanent status for temporary workers and teachers and better working conditions.
- Hear our cry as we seek just remuneration, upgrading and adequate compensation for teachers and other workers.
- Hear our cry as we struggle for health and safety in the workplace and in schools for teachers and students.
- Hear our cry as we navigate through these challenging times for quality education due to Covid-19 pandemic and the many challenges of E- learning.
Bartholomew stressed that the time has come for both tired and retired teachers to “turn to the Master Teacher, the greatest of all teachers, Jesus Christ” to bless, guide and protect them and “to see us through these challenging and difficult moments”.