First lady and education minister, Janet Kataaha Museveni, has warned teachers with sweaty armpits and dirty mouths to beware since students learn from them.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires,” she quoted William Arthur Ward.

Janet was Wednesday addressing the Teacher Education Symposium 2020 running under the theme: “Quality Teachers for the 21st Century” at Silver Springs Hotel in Kampala.

“Teachers should go to classes when they are clean. They shouldn’t have sweaty armpits or dirty mouths,” she said.

According to Janet, teachers should have good hygiene so that students copy the smartness from them.

She said there was a time when even one teacher, a female getting pregnant out of wedlock was sacrilege in the whole region, this is a teacher never mind a pupil, but today, some teachers sexually abuse the school girls they are supposed to protect.

Therefore, there is no way we can have an opportunity like today and simply address only learning outcomes as if that is what education only means- the academic exercise of literacy and numeracy per say.

“The education that we must strive to build has to address a whole person, physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. As I always say we must train the head, the heart and the hands,” she said.

“We must begin to look at a school as a place where these learners learn how to live. Therefore, the teacher must be equipped to teach their learners what it takes to live a wholesome life in a challenging world.”

She said the schools

must be clean, the pupils must be clean, the children need teachers who are kind in order to learn to be kind themselves.

“Your role, therefore, as teacher educators is to model the kind of teachers we are looking for. First, you must be role models yourselves, because the teachers you produce will be a reflection of what you have taught them to know, to do, and to be.”

“Your words and actions should always prepare the student for success. Every interaction with a teacher should leave students inspired, encouraged and motivated to aim higher.”

She went on: “When you have trained the teachers to espouse these values themselves and to strive to be clean and well-groomed not on the outside but clean bodies, clean teeth, clean tongue, clean hair, clean feet, clean socks and clean armpits then you have a clean and well-groomed, alert and astute teacher.”

The symposium was attended by Peter Tabichi, a Kenyan science teacher and Franciscan friar at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani, Nakuru County.

He was the winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize.

Peter Tabichi at the symposium
At the event, teachers were encouraged to embrace ICT as a must and not a choice

Dr Margo O’Sullivan, the former Education Chief for UNICEF Uganda says Uganda needs to have the capacity to teach their students 21st century skills.

In this day and age, she says that’s digital technology and that is key for her who has spent over 30 years in the sector.

“If your wellbeing isn’t taken seriously, you can’t go and teach. I was once a teacher and I know that yet this is the biggest challenge to education,” she noted.

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