noncommunicable diseases

… Few days to Teachers’ Day celebration

By Adesina Wahab

With about 72 hours to the celebration of the annual Teachers’ Day worldwide, teachers in the country have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors to implement the new welfare packages promised them two years ago.

According to the teachers, who spoke through their union, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, the implementation of the packages would boost their morale and also help attract more quality hands to the teaching profession.

Speaking in a chat with Vanguard, the General Secretary of the NUT, Dr Mike Ene, urged Buhari to quickly gazette the law that backed up the packages since he, Buhari, had signed the bill into law.

“Education  is on the concurrent list in the 1999 Constitution and the bill backing up the packages has since been signed into law by the President, but it must be gazetted. When that is done, state governors would not have any reason not to implement same. We implore the governors to buy into it.

“For now, it is the elongation of retirement age to 65 and service year to 40 that is being implemented by the federal government for its teachers. Regarding the Teachers Salary Scale, we gathered that it would come by way of allowances, different allowances for teachers that would eventually increase their take home.

“Already Teaching Practice Allowance is being paid by TETFund to students in Colleges of Education and those studying education in the universities. Part of the packages is that a teacher with university degree will be placed on Grade Level 9 and the one with Master’s will be on Grade Level 12. That is an improvement on the previous placements,” he stated.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Lagos Council of the NUT, Comrade Hassan Akintoye, expressed disappointment that most state governments have not started implementing any aspect of the packages.

“Even if it is the extension in the length of service or retirement age, let them start with that. It has some positive implications for teachers. Assuming a teacher is on Grade Level 15 after 35 years of service, if the person’s service year is now extended by another five years, he could get to Level 16 or 17 and in a place like Lagos, he could become a permanent secretary.

“We are not unmindful of the state of the economy and we are also empathising with them, but they just have to start implementing this policy from somewhere. The President made the pronouncement on October 5, 2020 and almost two years after, we are still marking time on it,” he opined.

It is still on course – TRCN boss

The Registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, urged teachers and other beneficiaries of the scheme not to entertain any fear about the implementation of the scheme.

“Though there has been some delay regarding the implementation of some aspects of the scheme, especially matters relating to finance. That is because of the global economic challenges that Nigeria is not exempted from. We at TRCN are involved in the conceptualization of the whole thing and I can assure you that it will be implemented. Let us just exercise patience. Everything is on course. It has not been abandoned.”

The new packages

The new packages include introduction of a special salary scale, increase in retirement age from 60  to 65 years and length of service from 35 to 40 years. Others are rural allowance for teachers posted to rural communities, increase in science allowance, peculiar allowance, automatic admission and tuition free schooling for kids of teachers at their place of work, automatic recruitment of B.Ed graduating students, and payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students or education special allowance.

Education students in colleges and universities are  also to enjoy special bursary awards, while TETFund will now be used to fund teaching practice, enhanced entry for graduating students into service, and introduction of special teachers pension scheme, among others.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.