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  • Nigel Akuani

Go Out, Touch the Hearts of Our Students

Port Moresby: For a teacher to touch the heart of their students is the greatest miracle they can perform says National Catholic Education Secretary, Michael Ova.

His remarks were made during the celebration of International Teachers Day that was commemorated on Friday 7th October 2022, at the Catholic Bishops Conference with the theme ‘Changing Course, Transforming Education. The Transformation of Education begins with Teachers’.

It had as its keynote speakers firstly, Mr Ova, followed by Sr Roshni Kachuwa, National Religious Education Secretary; and Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, General Secretary of CBCPNGSI. Present were staff of CBCPNGSI and media personnel.

Their reflective speeches encompassed the aspects of Catholic Education Schools in Partnership with the National Department of Education; Importance of Christian Education in PNG; and the Church Serving in Synodality.

Mr Ova in his keynote address congratulated teachers in their unwavering efforts and commitment to deliver education and commended the Department of Education and the Catholic Church for its continued support. “Teachers play a basic yet fundamental role in the integral development of our children. We promote development in all aspects of a child and I encourage all teachers to be vigilant and upright in promoting our Catholic and Christian identity and philosophy of our education in all our schools,” he said.

Reflecting on his own personal experience and quoting a saying from the Patron Saint of Teachers, St John Baptist De La Salle, he added, ‘I will always be grateful to church schools especially to the Catholic schools because they helped me by giving me the practical support, I needed to become what I am today. Teachers we need to touch the hearts of our students, make them follow in our example by way of good behaviour and character for a brighter future.”

Sr Roshni called on teachers to become the role models’ children and students aspired to become and reminded them to always remember the divine teaching of Christ. “You take the lead. Education in truth is good news, it transforms all. It is not education, but you as educators need to be transformed after the example of our divine teacher Jesus,” she urged.

“As educators you are called to transform the students according to the norms of the society. Give the best of yourself and you will see the result. The transformation of the young begins with education. Papua New Guinea as a Christian nation has all the credibility to be a transformed nation through education,” she added.

Fr Giorgio said synodality was about journeying and working together to build, teach and serve the community and implored teachers to always be guided by this concept.

A light meal accompanied by short video and song presentations were later played that depicted immense appreciation for the hard work and dedication of teachers.

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