In all of the developed countries, education is regarded as the primary ingredient in the creation of a civilised society. There is the firm belief that enlightenment creates or ushers in a society that is no longer savage in its inclination. Therefore, good governance is deemed to go hand in hand with education. Education is also seen to be a critical mechanism in the creation of a society that is homogeneous and cohesive. Education is what allows everyone throughout the length and breadth of a country, to sing as it were from the same hymn sheet.
In Britain, the Government sees the education sector as the sector that supplies the nation with its human resource base.
In fact, it was the education or enlightenment of the masses via the Methodist Movement, set up by the Wesley Brothers that created the spring board or platform for the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The Methodist movement by Oxford undergraduates created a working class that was encouraged to be self respecting, public spirited and governable. The Methodist movement pushed for peasants to be given a living wage. Set up by the co-operative movements, to back them up in times of medical crisis, and ultimately encourage the creation of the Labour Party.
In the colonies, administration of the colonies went hand in hand with the education of the indigenous population, i.e. the teaching of the 3 Rs: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. This was to enable the people to evolve into masses that were governable.
All the G8 countries (i.e. the most economically advanced nations of the world) all have education as a top priority in their budgets and National Agenda.
Education is regarded as the supplier of the only resource which the highly industrialised nation of Japan relies on. Of all the G8 countries, Japan has no natural resources. All it can boast of is its Human Resource Base, a resource that is highly motivated and committed to excellence in terms of what it manufactures. This pride is vividly demonstrated in the story narrated at a G8 meeting about a Honda motor foreman who always arrived home late because he was forever adjusting and tightening the screws on Honda vehicles parked on the sidewalks that led to his house.
The United States has over the year endeavoured to revive her flagging car industry by trying to evolve a workforce that takes pride in what it manufactures.
It has finally become an established fact in many industrialised nations that the manufacturing sector needs a work force that is not only trained in the use of equipments but also trained in the ability to provide its client base with excellent service, i.e. that has a good knowledge of the lifestyle of its client base and those extra little things that make life special for these clients.
The teaching sector also provides developed societies with its oligarchic class. This is class that provides developed nations with its captains of industries, its scientists, its politicians, its civil-servants and professionals such as lawyers, doctors, teachers etc.
The education sector in Britain is delineated into communities; public schools, and local government schools for the bulk of the population. The public schools in Britain such as Eton, Harrow feed Oxford and Cambridge with undergraduates which have for decades, created Britain’s oligarchic class.

Eton, like most schools in the private sector carry out a stringent interviewing procedure before students are selected. An interesting feature of its interviewing programme includes a one to one interview with the mother of the potential entrants. These public schools insist on this, because the profile, character and disposition of a pupil are deemed to be important.
The Head Teacher and his staff often want to gauge the type of supervision a child would get from home. Dad is often perceived as not having as much access to a child, as its mother invariably does. Dad’s work may actually take him away from home quite a lot and so mum is the ally that underpins or supports what the school does. Besides, the perceived wisdom is that a man’s wife speaks volume about a man’s real character…
Teaching a child to read from the age of 6 and successfully write and do long division and multiplication takes a lot of skill, patience and dedication.
Many teachers impact people’s lives beyond what they teach. The integrity they bring to the work they do inspires you for life.
How does one remunerate someone who allows you; as a petrified early learner, to feed on their ego, so as to enable you evolve into a confident self-possessed adult. Britain celebrates its teachers annually. Some appear on the Queens’ Honours List and others are feted at Gala Awards, which are broadcast live on television with massive viewing audiences. Teachers impact our lives to such an extent that we may never recall everything they taught us but we remember them, because of their integrity and character.
I remember an Irish Head- teacher at St Louis grammar school in Ibadan in Nigeria. She wrote me such a testimonial that gave me a belief in myself that has kept me going for years. I decided to contact her and thank her. I wrote her a letter and got a response back from her convent in Nigeria, saying she was in Britain that summer. My letter was forwarded to her, and she invited me to meet her up at Victoria Station a week and a half later. I kept the appointment and felt slightly nervous about the encounter. The moment we clapped eyes on each other, all nervousness was gone. We hugged each other warmly and in spite of the hurly-burly of Victoria Station I had one of the most surreal afternoons I had had in England for a long time. We sipped coffee as she filled me in on her life in Ibadan, and old girls who were in various parts of the world. All too soon, our rendezvous was over and she had to continue her journey to Ireland. That was decades ago. I do not know whether this nun is still alive. However, all she did for me and so many young women of my generation still live on.
Teachers should be celebrated in every society and culture.
As an Oxford dean said to his students the other day, a good teacher prepares you for life. A good teacher prepares you for employment, but the best of teachers prepares you for unemployment and those times when you have to think laterally and find the resources within you to re-invent yourself and remain a winner and an achiever in society, in spite of great odds.
Stella Osammor