The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the Federal Government (FG) places much premium on the issues of teachers’ welfare and professionalism.
Adamu made the assertion Wednesday in Ibadan at the 58th National Delegates’ Conference organised by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
The theme of the conference was: “Terrorism and Attack on Schools: Effects on Education and Nigeria’s Economy”.
The Minister was represented at the event by Abimbola Odeleye, a Director, Coordinating Evaluator, Federal Education Quality Assurance Service.
According to Adamu, President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2020 approved some incentives aimed at revitalising and repositioning the teaching profession which have been signed into law.
He called on the state governments and all key players in the education sector to fully implement the law.
Adamu said that attack on schools or education had become a global challenge “as virtually all countries have incidences indicating the effect of such attacks”.
According to him, this invariably affects children’s right to education and on their future.
“Nigeria has made tremendous efforts to ensure protection of education from attacks and ensure safety and security of students, teachers and school facilities.
“Research has indicated that the economic power of a nation can only be unlocked by the quality of education available to its citizens,” he said.
The Minister, therefore, enjoined teachers to use the conference to hold fruitful deliberations and conversations.
According to him, its outcome will add substantial value to the debate on how education can be protected from attacks and terrorism.
In his remarks, the NUT National President, Audu Amba, commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the approval of some welfare packages and incentives for teachers.
According to Amba, the packages include: payment of special salary scale for teachers in basic and secondary schools.
“Reintroduction of bursary award to education students in Universities and Colleges of Education.
“Special Teachers Pension Scheme to enable the teaching profession to retain its experienced talents as well as to extend teachers’ retirement age and building of low-cost houses for teachers in rural areas, among others.”
He, however, called on the Federal Government to hasten implementation of the welfare packages.
The NUT national president further called on the governments, both at the national and sub-national levels to increase budgetary allocations to education in line with the set global standards.
He, also urged the state governments to accept and carry out their constitutional responsibilities of providing and maintaining primary education, including the payment of teachers’ salaries.
Amba urged teachers to uphold the nobility of their profession, as the nation was about conducting national elections and census in 2023.
He urged teachers to show good examples as the nation’s builders, by carrying out their civic duties with civility and in good conscience.
Amba also advised political gladiators to play the game according to the rules “because the interest of the nation should override our individual interests”.
In his goodwill message, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, decried the spate of insecurity across the country, calling on the government to intensify efforts to tackle the menace.
Wabba noted that NUT had not only survived all odds since its formation, but had flourished tremendously.
Earlier, the Oyo State Chairman of NUT, Raji Oladimeji, appreciated the leadership of the union for given the hosting right to the state.
Oladimeji said the 58th Delegates’ Conference was the first to be hosted by the state since its creation.
He promised that NUT leadership in the state would continue to prioritise the welfare of its members.
Governors Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, represented by his Chief of Staff, Segun Ogunwuyi, were among the dignitaries at the event.