Contributors: Contributors: May 29, 2000

VALERIE MARCHANT is a senior reporter who has written various education stories for TIME. "While working on this story," she says, "I was impressed and touched by the enormous respect and fondness that all the teachers I interviewed felt for their students." The role teachers play, she believes, is as significant as that of parents.

PETER HAWTHORNE is a foreign correspondent who has covered southern Africa for TIME since 1994. He booked a voyage from Cape Town to Southampton on the luxurious QE2 as a birthday present for his wife. "It's a world of its own," he says. "If we had...

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