By Demola Akinyemi
ILORIN-Federal government has been urged to extend retirement age of teachers to 70 years like it was done to professors in the nation’s universities.
The Kwara state chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Musa Abubakar made the appeal in Ilorin on Wednesday while addressing the teeming teachers during the occasion of this year’s world teachers day held at Teachers House, Ilorin.
Abubakar noted that,”the demand became imperative in view of the fact that, teachers suffer the same fate all over the world irrespective of their operation”,stressing that,”Justice demand that teachers should be bound by common destiny”.
Abubakar added that, “The extension of retirement of age of professors in the tertiary institutions to 70 years be extended to teacher who constitute the foundation of education i.e primary and secondary education.
”It is obvious that vacuum created by the retired teachers in the state in recent time will be difficult to fill within the next decade”.
Abubakar who decried the state of education in the country said that,”teachers profession that should gather the best brain of nation to mould the character of our future leaders is seen as a stepping stone for greener pasture”.
He also lamented that,”It is a crypic but painful that the condition of teachers has not changed significantly with other profession.
“Education which remain the hope of the hopeless and the sure way to eradicate poverty and disease is jeaopardised.
“Education policies in the country do not reflect the aspiration of the people”.
The chairman also berated the non payment of teacher’s of salary in the country as when due especially in the state.
According to him,”as I speak, teachers in Kwara are owed five months salary and 56 per cent(i.e 15 per cent January, 25 per cent June, 8 per cent August and 8 per cent September) and this is no doubt has affected the quality of education in our public schools as the working condition of the teacher is the learning condition of the child”.
He also called on the federal government to take over the funding of primary education, Comrade Abubakar noting that,”finance of the local government is over stressed and cannot cope with the funding of primary schools”.
Abubakar who called on the state government to publish the findings of the bio-metric exercises carried out in the state said that those whose salaries have been put on hold as a result of no BVN, wrong BVN and next of kin and been duely cleared, be paid without further delay.
He also said that, his administration has taken the welfare of teachers as major priority so as to enhance their productivity in their various places of working.
He said that,”in doing this, we have opened a commodity account with a sum of N25million to service the need of the serving members. It is a revolving scheme that caters for the domestic needs of the teachers”.
Abubakar added,”it is worthy to mention that the historic teachers estate has been completed and it has since been given out for commercial purpose”.