Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Nigeria needs 400,000 teachers - NUT

The Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, has said the country requires over 400,000 teachers in primary and secondary schools to address the deficit currently experienced in the basic education subsector.

National President of NUT, Comrade Nasir Idris, who stated this in Abuja at the 2018 World Teachers Day celebration, called on the federal, state and local governments to ensure massive recruitment of qualified teachers.

Idris also urged government to raise the retirement age of primary and secondary school teachers from 60 to 65 years, and redouble their efforts towards the provision of quality public education that would be affordable and accessible to every Nigerian child.

He further reiterated the union’s call for local government autonomy to be included in the ongoing constitutional review to ensure that funding of primary education, particularly payment of teachers’ salaries come from the federation account.

The union leader also called on the federal government to approve the payment of the 27.5 per cent teachers’ enhancement allowance to teachers in the Unity Schools and other Federal Government Schools, and allow them to exercise their trade union rights by belonging to the Industrial Unions of their choice.

In a keynote address, President Muhammad Buhari, decried the harrowing experiences teachers were going through as a result of unfriendly teaching environment, while assuring of government’s commitment to address grey areas in the profession.

Represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, Buhari said "There is no gainsaying that teaching profession has been and is still faced with various challenges.

He added that the problems encountered by teachers include low wages, low self-esteem in the society, lack of professional and in-service training, low professional status, high teacher/pupil ratio, ineffective machinery to enforce the code of conduct in the teaching profession, politicizing education, poor budgetary allocation to teaching profession, unqualified teachers, lack of standards, poor work environment.

Earlier the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the effectiveness of the teacher in their commitment to the teaching profession was key to the development of a child.

Adamu noted that the ministry had developed the strategy with respect to teacher education, capacity building and professional development.

He said that the ministry was also working toward improving the capacity of teachers, attracting the best brains to the profession and providing the nation with the required skilled human capital.

The event also featured awards to overall best teacher which went to Mr. Adaramola Patrick from Comprehensive High School Ayetoro, Ogun State, and overall best school administrator which went to Mrs. Ezenwa Grace Amarachukwu from Anambra state.

Both were given a Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Electra respectively while the Best overall school, Doherty Memorial Grammar School, Ijero, Ekiti State, drove home an eighteen-seater bus.



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