President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a special salary scale for Nigerian teachers while also increasing the years of service from 35 years to 40 years.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu made this known in Abuja during the occasion of the 2020 World Teacher’s Day.
The theme of celebration ”Teachers: Leading in Crisis Reimagining the Future” captures the resilience of Teachers and school administrators globally amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhari instructed the ministry to facilitate the implementation of the new teachers’ salary scheme saying this will encourage the teachers in delivering better service.
According to him, teachers have the power to shape and reshape the lives of young people and help learners to enhance their potentials.
”Only great teachers can produce excellent people and students that will make the future of our country great. A positive or negative influence of teacher on any child will have effect on that child. Therefore, the federal government is ensuring quality education to access. My administration has resolved that quality education of teachers in terms of engagement of continued professional development has to be given priority. The future of this country will be a function of quality education delivered to our children today and this depend on the quality of our teachers and the quality of our teachers depend on the motivation and their motivation depends on how happy they are doing what they are doing. To address these challenges, my administration has approved the following for teachers and the teaching profession. That in order to attract investment in the teaching profession, the quality of the introduction of bursary award has been restored. There will be a special pension scheme to enable the teaching profession retain its experience talent as well as extend teachers retirement age to 65 years and the duration of teachers’ years to 40 years. And that is to create a career path policy for the teaching profession in Nigeria and gives speedy teachers to programme and ICT training”.
He added that his administration had also approved the building of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas, the sponsorship of teachers, prompt payment of salary and timely promotion of teachers to eliminate stagnation.
He said this would motivate and restore the lost glory of teachers and teaching in the country.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukuemeka Nwajuiba identified the teaching profession as the greatest profession in the world which must be accorded adequate recognition and respect.
Nwajuiba noted that the picture of a Nigerian teacher in the 1960s and 1970s which connotes discipline needed to be replicated in today’s profession.
According to him, having a day to celebrate the teacher is just but a token gesture of recognition to the sacrificial contribution of teachers.
”In those days, very comfortable and important figures in the society would send their children to a teacher’s house for grooming. That was the teacher then. Teachers’ children and those that lived with them became the crème de la crème of the society. The society sadly have tilted towards ephemeral appearances that negates the standard of teachers as role models. We think this should stop. Teachers deserve recognition and respect. The first step is to have qualified teachers in practice. That is why the ministry through the Teachers Registration Council is making concerted efforts to withdraw unqualified teachers from the classroom nationwide”.
The minister however urged individuals, states and local government education authorities and corporate organisations to replicate reward system in order to institutionalise productivity in the education sector.
Meanwhile, Mr Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education commended the enduring selfless devotion of all teachers across the federation especially those in crisis-thorn and remote areas for their invaluable contribution to the development of education.
”I also wish to appreciate UNESCO for its recommendation to all nations to dedicate the 5th of October of every year as the special day to remember the signing of the standard setting instrument on the status of teachers and also extol their virtues. To the individual, who has enjoyed the privilege of being taught by a teacher, I urge you to always remember to appreciate that special teacher who laid the foundation for the success you have achieved in life”.
The celebration witnessed awards of Best School Administrator, Best Teacher in Public School, Best Teacher in Private School, among others.