The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has lamented the non-implementation of 2020 World Teachers Day promises made to them under the government of immediate-past President Muhammadu Buhari.
NUT national president, Comrade Audu Titus Amba, stated this while fielding questions from journalists at a ministerial briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, on the activities lined up for the commemoration of the 2023 World Teachers’ Day.
LEADERSHIP reports that the World Teachers’ Day is an international day held annually every October 5 to celebrate the efforts of teachers all over the world.
On the commemoration of the day in 2020, the then president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, approved a special salary scale and a special pension scheme for teachers in the country.
Besides, the former President included building low-cost houses for teachers in rural areas, sponsorship to at least one refresher training per annum to benchmark best practices for improved teaching and learning, and retirement age for teachers.
He also promised an expansion of the annual Presidential Teachers and Schools Awards and payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) students and automatic employment after graduation.
But, speaking on the theme of 2023 celebration; “The Teachers We Need For The Education We Want: The Global Imperative To Reverse Teacher Shortage,” Amba said so many incentives were rolled out but the only pronouncement that kick-started both at the centre and to an extent at the level of states was the retirement age for teachers.
“As I speak, a good number of states are yet to even key into this retirement age for teachers. We just took the statistics two weeks back and pleaded to all the state governors that they should use the occasion of Teachers’ Day and make pronouncement of the retirement age and other incentives.
“Let me say categorically, up till now none of the other incentives have gotten across the Nigerian teachers and we believe that with the commitment of the Minister the incentives that were pronounced are being given to our teeming teachers in Nigeria.
“So the answer is most of the laudable promises are yet to get across to our teeming teachers,” he added.
Earlier in his address, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said the pre-activities for the commemoration include the inauguration of a planning/implementation committee, media brief, symposium, and the bequeathing of prestigious awards to excellent school administrators, teachers and schools nationwide on the D-Day at Eagles Square in Abuja.
He noted that apart from the teachers, other education stakeholders and dignitaries expected to grace the grand finale include representatives of the Presidency, National Assembly, Ministers, Head of Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretaries, United Nations Agencies, Chief Executives of all Education parastatals and the Executives of the Teachers Union (NUT).
He implored Nigerians to escalate the information for a collective reflection on the strategic role teachers play to ensure that quality education is accessible to all, thereby paving way for a brighter and more equitable future In Nigeria.
The Minister also hinted that efforts were on the way to meet and review strategies for better security of schools to make safe against attackers.
For his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Andrew Adejo, said government was implementing the promises systematically.
He said, “Let’s understand that when the Federal Government approved the revitalization policy for teachers they were about eleven items there and among these items, as I speak, government has taken up to six.
“One, you are all aware of the elongation years of service, the challenge government is even having now is that, the Act was signed for people to go back to classroom and teach, if you go to police affairs and defence is worse, where people that have passed 80 have still remain as administrators.
“There was also scholarship for every students studying education in our universities, that is being implemented partially. We have written to presidency so scholarship is going partially.
“Continuous development of teachers . The TRCN is here. We can not go at once all over so we are doing it systematically,” he added.