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This has been a slow mail week but today brought two orders – one from the UK and one from the United States.  The four stamps pictured above are from the Kathiri State of Seiyun which was in the Eastern Protectorate of Aden, a nation I’ve become rather fond of recently.  Unfortunately, I’m missing one of the UPU anniversary stamps as I was outbid on eBay in the last second!

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The first day cover contains a block of four Scott #1098, issued in 1957 to honor teachers of America.  I’m slowly buying stamps portraying education as part of a collection I’m putting together to illustrate “My Life in Stamps”; I have been an English teacher in Thailand for almost nine years now. 

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We are now firmly into the mid-year monsoons with heavy rains and winds throughout each day.  Luckily, I’ve been inside most of the time working; it’s a busy time for me as my bank staff classes are wrapping up and I’ve been giving final exams and writing student evaluations.  I love coming home after a long day and having a few new stamps to add into my collection.

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I had a cold ride home on the back of a motorbike taxi – the wind was whipping up and I was shivering but, thankfully, the downpour held off until I was safely inside.  There were two envelopes and one postcard addressed to me on the reception desk’s counter – the Registered Mail envelope from Thailand contained a pair of Thai stamps marking the 1987 National Children’s Day while an envelope from the UK contained a couple of later stamps from Aden, one of my favorite countries of late.

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The postcard had me fooled at first as the picture side was facing up when I first saw it and I thought I’d received my first Postcrossing card from Sri Lanka.  Turning it over, I found it was from Slovenia instead – still a first.  As usual, I’ll save the write-up for my postcard blog.

Happy Collecting!

As a teacher of English As A Foreign Language (EFL), I would like to start collecting stamps and postmarks portraying different aspects of education be they schools, students, classroom elements, or the teachers themselves.  Thus, I’m thrilled by the recent stamps issued by the tiny nation of San Marino.  Perhaps they will be the first I will add to an education-themed topical collection (I have yet to find them listed on eBay).

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The pair of stamps released on 16 June honor World Teachers’ Day, held annually every 5 October since 1994 in order to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.  According to UNESCO,  World Teachers’ Day represents “a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.”  Over one hundred countries currently observe this special day.

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The 2015 San Marino set of stamps were designed by graphic artist Guido Scarabottolo.  The 80 euro value features stylized students listening to a teacher holding a book in his hand while they are standing on piles of books, meaning that the roots of knowledge come from the same fertile soil.  The 95 euro stamp portrays a teacher showing the light of knowledge to her students.  This same image appears on the issue’s first day of issue cancellation.

There have been many stamps issued since the late 1950’s honoring education in all of its forms.  I’ve identified a few on eBay that I’d like to purchase in the near future.  This pair below was issued in 1997 for Thailand’s Children’s Day, held annually on the first Saturday of January.  The stamp on the left illustrates a typical schoolyard scene with the students in the ubiquitous uniform of Thai government-run school – white tops with brown shorts for boys and blue skirts for the girls.

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Teachers are generally greatly revered in Thailand and there are two days designated in the schools here in which to honor them.  Wai Kru Day is on a Thursday in mid- to late June on which is held a ceremony where all of the students of the school will bow to the point that their knees and head are on the floor before presenting an elaborate flower arrangement to the teacher who happens to be sitting across from them.  If it is a large school (as most here tend to be), the teacher may end up with fifty or more flower arrangements each which often end up in a large trash bin.

In January (the week following Children’s Day, on a Thursday once again), is Wan Kru which translates as “Teachers’ Day” and is simply an extra day off.  The students seem to enjoy this more than the teachers do as it falls right at mid-terms and there are already way too many government, Buddhist and other holidays (days off without pay) during the November to February stretch.  At any rate, I have yet to come across any stamps honoring these two special days for teachers.  However, the stamp below was issued in mid-June 1998 honoring education in general so it may have been intended to mark Wai Kru as well.

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My birth-country of the United States has issued numerous stamps on an education theme since the 1950s.  A selection appears below:

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USA Helping Children Learn 1997

As has the United Nations:

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I quite like these from Vietnam, Mongolia, China, and Israel:

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Beautiful maximum card from Greece:

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I’m not usually a big fan of Disney stamps, but perhaps I’ll make an exception for this mini-sheet from St. Vincent and the Grenadines:

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And, finally, here are two more marking various World Teachers’ Days – from The Philippines and Algeria:

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What other education-related stamps do you recommend?  Please leave images in the Comments…

Please note that this article contains stamp images from press releases or eBay. I don’t (yet) own any of these. All other images on this blog are scans of items that I own, unless otherwise noted.