The President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Muhammed Idris, on Thursday advised the Federal Government to review retirement age of teachers to 65 years.
Idris gave the advice at a news conference to mark the 2018 World Teachers’ Day in Abuja.
According to Wikipaedia, the free encyclopaedia, the World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day, is held annually on October 5.
It was established in 1994 to commemorate the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world.
World Teachers’ Day aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.
Theme of the celebration is: “The Right to Education means the Right to a Qualified Teacher.”
Mr Idris said importance of the theme was to retain teachers, who had experiences in the profession and also to train upcoming ones.
The NUT president also called for the reversal of retiring teachers annually without a commensurate recruitment to fill the vacant positions.
He advised stakeholders in the sector to join hands with the union in demanding a professional salary structure for teachers and to make it more appealing to young Nigerians.
“Young graduates of education discipline and prospective teachers have ignored teaching profession because of the kind of salary teachers were receiving.
“The right to education will be vain, vague, a mirage and elusive, without the presence of an optimum number of qualified, well-remunerated and motivated teachers in the nations’ schools,” he said.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, pledged a continuous cooperation and partnership with NUT.
“We are pleased to report that we have been working very hard in Nigeria. Teachers, as one body, have made valuable contributions to policy development in our society.
“It is grounded on the fact that they were talking about huge deficit in the number of teachers.
“The argument is that the coalitions of this in the university system; professors are allowed to stay up to 70 years.
“In other institutions, 65 years; but why are we limiting teachers in the secondary and primary to 60 years.
“This is the policy issue that the ministry will take up. The ministry is, therefore, assuring that these policy instruments are intended to meet with the demands of the teaching profession,’’ Mr Echono said.
He said one key factor in ensuring quality teaching and learning was the availability of quality welfare for teachers to attract the best brains and commitment to the sector.