President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will provide vibrant policies that will provide allowances and initiate annual retention benefits for teachers in order to attract them to rural communities.
Buhari, who was represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Justice Abubakar Malami made this known in Abuja on Saturday at the 2019 World Teachers’ Day Celebration.
He also said the Federal Government would collaborate with the states with a view to providing incentives to teachers, especially in the rural areas to encourage young talents to the teaching profession.
He said: “It has been stated that teachers are one of the most influential forces for equity, access and quality in education, this administration places much emphasis on Human Capital Development.
“We shall give more attention to training and re-training of teachers in order to enhance their capacities for effective service delivery.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the theme of the 2019 WTD was progressively addressing some of the fundamental issues of teachers and education generally in the country.
Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said to revitalise the sector, there was need to unleash potentials for socioeconomic development.
He noted that revitalising the sector had given rise to the development of the Ministerial Strategic Plan, adding that the process was on course.
He said: “Besides strengthening institutional framework in the educational system, a number of steps have been taken to increase access, which is the increase in the number of tertiary institutions.
“The numbers of these universities is an improvement over what it used to be.
“Let us bear in mind that central to expanding access to these instructions are the young teachers who lecturers in them, hence the urgent need to invest in young teachers.”
He also commended the efforts of the Teachers’ Registration Council of in pursuit of teachers’ professionalism through registration and licensing of teachers in a bid to strengthen teacher quality.
Adamu added that the ministry had also endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration, saying that steps were taken to implement the commitment made through the commitment.
“Over the years, educational institutions have become targets, ranging from kidnappings, killings, arson, vandalism and hooliganism.
“Conflict and natural disasters have also led to schools being closed down and converted to camps for Internally Displaced Persons thereby disrupting schooling,” he said.
Also, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sonny Echono, pledged the commitment of the ministry to ensure that teachers are professionally qualified, empowered and adequately remunerated, motivated and supported for efficiency and effectiveness.
Echono, however, called on development partners, private sector, Civil Society Organisations, individuals and philanthropists to join hands with government at all levels to invest in teachers and the teaching profession for enhanced leaning outcomes.
In his message, Dr Muhammed Idris, National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers, called for policy redirection that would enhance the occupational and social status of teachers and engender fulfilling teaching career.
Idris said the age-long demand for review of the retirement age of teachers should be looked into as the union awaits presidential assent.
He also called for a uniform Teachers Salary Structure for all professional teachers in the country, saying this must be given due attention and consideration.
He, therefore, commended the administration of President Buhari for revisiting and approving the establishment of the National Secondary Education Commission.
“The NUT also wishes to reiterate its concern over the non-payment of the 27.5 per cent professional allowances to teachers of Federal Government Colleges and call for payment of the said allowances.
“This would go a long way to further motivate the affected teachers towards optimum performance and productivity,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Teachers’ Day also known as International Day of Teachers, is held yearly on October 5.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Young Teachers, the Future of the Profession,” which features presentation of awards to outstanding teachers and others.
Those who received the 2019 Presidential Teachers’ and Schools Excellence Awards were Iyabo Elusakin, from Lagos state as best teacher-public category with an award of a brand new Hyundai Sonata.
Ifeoma Onwuadi got the best School Administrator award with an Hyundai Elentra and also Temitayo Adebiyi as the best teacher-private category with an Hyundai Accent.
Also, Flora Azikiwe Model Comprehensive Secondary School, won the best school- public category with an 18 seater bus donated by JAMB and Pearlville School, Avu Owerri, won best school-private category with a 15 seater Foton bus
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State was awarded the best education friendly governor award.