By Amaka Abayomi & Daud Olatunji
“We demand payment of our 27 per cent arrears in salaries.”
“We need to be paid our duty post allowance.”
“Government has failed to provide teaching aids and instructional materials to teach these children.”
“We are not promoted as at when due”.
These are some of the challenges which teachers across the nation say are hindering them from effectively teaching.
Across Nigeria, the chorus is the same: the three tiers of government have neglected the education sector and teachers.
What they fail to understand is that given the role of education in national development and the role teachers play in nurturing the minds and hearts of the youths, it is expected that teachers, being in charge of students in their formative stages, deserve to be treated better than they are presently.
The plight of Nigeria’s teachers is pitiful as many of them have died of hunger while waiting to be paid their entitlements, turning them into beggars and rendering them destitute. Little wonder the standard of education keeps dwindling by the day and government does little or nothing to salvage the situation, yet expects the teachers to perform miracles.
Vanguard Learning went to talk to stakeholders and their responses were pathetic.
According to an Education Secretary, who declined to disclose his name, the major challenge hindering effective teaching in Nigeria is lack of human capacity as a lot of these teachers are out of touch with modern teaching methods.
“There is the need to groom the needed critical mass of teachers who are equipped with up-to-date teaching techniques to effectively impart knowledge. This is because times have changed and there is the need for these teachers to continually update their knowledge through training and retraining.
“Population explosion, especially in Lagos, is another issue which has to be tackled soon, else, government’s efforts in improving education would amount to naught.”
Teachers blame parents for not complementing their efforts by ensuring that their children revise their notes, do their homework, and resume school on time.
“Parents encourage their children not to resume school on time, thereby, delaying the teachers’ work. They also don’t ensure that their children revise their school work and do their home work, thereby, compounding the situation. Parents also harass us when we beat their wards.”
Better incentives, national honours
If there is one thing the teachers agree on, it is the Federal Government’s deliberate attempt at excluding them from the national merit awards while recognising politicians who make little or no contributions to national development.
Aside this, they lamented the failure of government to pay their peculiar allowances, provide teaching aids and instructional materials in schools for teachers and lack of facility in the staff rooms have demoralised them.