.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.
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.
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.