Some teachers across the country have called on government at all levels to ensure prompt payment of teachers’ salaries and provide them with better welfare packages.
They made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the World Teachers Day celebration in Abuja, yesterday.
Some of the teachers said they derived joy from their profession as they watched their students become successful in life, however, their work must not go unrewarded.
Mr Shuaibu Abdulrahman, a teacher and director, School Services, Federal Ministry of Education, said he loved the teaching profession and has no regret being a teacher.
Abdulrahman, however, said the issue of teachers’ salaries could not be overlooked because of the vital role teachers play in the society.
“It is possible for teachers to collect better salaries in Nigeria but this depends on our value system and government political will.
“If we value the teachers most, then, they will be paid properly and timely, however, this lies in the hands of the government, and this would make best brains rush into the teaching profession.
“Teachers are not being paid by anybody except God, so government should do something to help the teachers as it concerns our welfare.
He also called on the government to provide adequate facilities in schools, adding that to achieve quality education, students must learn in conducive environments.
Similarly, Mrs Ifeoma Eze, a teacher with Federal Government Boys College School, Apo, FCT, appreciated the government for encouraging teachers through the Presidential Teachers award of excellence given to deserving teachers and schools.
Eze, however, said the government needed to do more in terms of prompt payment of teachers’ salaries.
“This present administration is trying for teachers, government has increased the awards given to teachers but they can do more by paying teachers promptly.’’
According to her, salaries of some newly recruited teachers have not been paid for up to 10 months now because of the new system of capturing and regularisation introduced.
Mr Oluwatofunmi Akano, principal, Federal Government Girls College, Yola, said government needs to make teachers’ welfare a priority.
Akano said that the special salary scale for teachers, which had lingered for a long time, should be made realistic, so that teachers would be motivated to do more.
“No teacher, No nation; teachers are the ones that mould everyone to be who they are in different spheres of life.
“The teacher should get more reward here, not only in heaven; the government should make teachers’ welfare a top priority.
She commended the Federal Government for increasing the prize award this year to teachers.
According to her, this year is better than last year’s event; just one car was given out last year, but this year, government has given out two cars and a bus and other prizes.
Also speaking to NAN, Mr Titus Oluroguntayo, an official of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), said that teachers deserve better treatment and should be accorded the required respect.
“We want the government at the federal, state and local government levels to treat our teachers with dignity and respect. Teachers should not be relegated to the background.
“Teachers are the moulders of future characters.
“The government officials, the doctors, the lawyers, even those people who leave the shores of this country to look for greener pastures were all trained by teachers,” he said.