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Lagos NUT boss canvasses motivation, protection of teachers

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.As teachers call for revamp of profession

By Adesina Wahab & Elizabeth Uwandu

The Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter  of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT,  Otunba  Adedoyin  Adesina,  has  called  for  adequate motivation and  protection of teachers  to  make  them  always  put  in their  best  while  discharging  their duties.

He  stated  this  in Lagos during the celebration of  this year’s  Teachers’  Day  at  the  Sports  Complex of the  University  of  Lagos,  UNILAG.

Teacher, NUT

Adesina,  who  noted  that  a  lot  of  people  were  looking  down  on  teachers  because  of  their  poor  welfare  package,  called  for  a  change.

Dwelling on this year’s theme: Young teachers, the future of the profession, he noted that it would be difficult to attract young ones to the job if those already in the practice were treated as dregs of the society. He opined that if young persons were attracted  to the job, teaching would be more interactive  and  become computer-based and that it  would make teachers relate better with  their students.

The NUT boss added that many  classrooms in the state were overcrowded and  that the state needed more teachers to bridge  the yawning gap.

He  called  for  the  restoration  of  Peculiar  Allowances  such  as  school  game,  riverine,  science/mathematics, duty post, among others.

Adesina also called for the creation of the  Office of Headmaster-General/Permanent  Secretary in the primary school sector for  teachers there to be able to enjoy what their  colleagues in secondary schools are enjoying.

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As  a  means of helping in the funding of the  sector, he called for the setting up of the  Education Trust Fund by the state government.

To stem the tide of indiscipline in schools,  Adesina urged the government to consider the  introduction of mild punishment in  schools, in line with the Australian model.

He frowned at the situation where  some parents and guardians would   harass and threaten teachers  who chastise their wards.

The NUT chairman appealed to the  government to convert some qualified non-teaching staff in primary schools  to  teachers.

He advised Governor Sanwo-Olu to give  education the needed push to restore its lost glory.

In  his  speech,  the  Executive  Chairman  of  the  State  Universal  Basic  Education  Board,  Hon.  Wahab  Alawiye-King,  said  there  was  need  to  draw  the  best  brains  to  the  sector  and gave the assurance that the state government  was poised to do so.

He added that the Board would not relent in its efforts to take education to higher level in the state.

Alawiye-King assured teachers of a better dawn in the service of the state.

Meanwhile, teachers called for steps to improve the noble profession.

The 2019 World Teachers’ Day, according to UNESCO, provided an avenue to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements and address some of the issues central to attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.

Our reporter sought the views of teachers in Nigeria to know what they wished could be addressed in the education sector.

“ For me, I would like the curriculum to be more holistic, assessment policies need critical review to meet the demands of the 21st Century; teacher training colleges should be linked to the 21st Century with exchange programmes linked globally to enrich and up skill teachers pedagogy, “ said Mrs Anike Adegoke, a Nigerian born teacher in Diaspora.

On his part, Mr Clifford Otuoraha, also a teacher, said: “Our educational system needs complete overhauling. There is need for school owners to respect teachers and teaching profession as a whole. It is appalling how teachers are treated both in the private and public sectors.

“Mr Christan Okwori, a lover of education and an Engineer reiterated Otuoraha call for higher welfare package for teachers, “ “There had to be psychological   relationship between teachers and students; enhanced welfare for teachers ; and an higher dignity for teachers. When these are done, the teaching profession will be modified. “ He said.

Aside the above, Osita Okwuosah, an educationist is calling for increase in teachers’ salary and also increase budgetary allocation for education by the federal government. “ We should be talking of stomach infrastructure. I mean,   increase in the salary of teachers. We need energy before we can carry out all the principle and corrections and inspiration and changes.

“ Again, is the government should allocate at least allocate 10 percent of the budget to education.” Okwuosa explained.

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