World Teachers Day: Buhari to create policies for teachers’ welfare

Teachers marching at eagle square to celebrate World Teachers’ Day
Teachers marching at eagle square to celebrate World Teachers’ Day

President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration would provide policies that create allowances and annual retention benefits for teachers in order to attract them to rural communities.

Mr Buhari, who spoke at an event to celebrate the World Teachers’ Day in Abuja Saturday, said the federal government would collaborate with government at all levels to provide incentives to teachers especially in the rural areas to encourage youth to embrace teaching.

The theme for this Year’s celebration is “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.”

Mr Buhari, who was represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the theme is key as it focuses on the continuous role of the teacher in imparting knowledge for human capital development.

“It has been stated that teachers are one of the most influential forces for equity, access and quality in education, this administration places much emphasis on human capital development, we shall give more attention to training and retraining of teachers in order to enhance their capacities for effective service delivery,” he said.

Also speaking, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the government is taking all steps necessary to implement the country’s commitment on the endorsement of Safe Schools Declaration and protection of students, teachers and schools as a whole from armed attacks.

“Over the years, educational institutions have become targets ranging from kidnappings, killings, arson, vandalism and hooliganism. We are taking financial, political, and pragmatic steps to implement the commitments made through the endorsement for the protection of students, teachers and schools from armed attack and military use,“ Mr Adamu said.

Teachers marching at eagle square to celebrate World Teachers’ Day
Teachers marching at eagle square to celebrate World Teachers’ Day

Mr Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said the present administration is focusing on overhauling of schools, committing itself to educate every child and using education as a model of economic development.

Development of Teachers

The President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Muhammed Idris, urged the president to assent to the Bill for the Review of the Retirement Age of Teachers and Education Officers from 60 to 65 years.

“The demand for upward review of the retirement age of teachers is age-long,we look forward with great expectations that the president will not hesitate to sign it into law, as an extension of the good gesture of the Federal government to teachers of primary and secondary schools as it was done to their colleagues at the tertiary level in the past, ” he said.

Mr. Idris called for special salary structure for teachers saying it would address the peculiarities of the teaching profession and give the profession its true identity and status.

“We hereby make submission that the proposal for a uniform Teachers Salary Structure TSS, for all professional teachers in the country, be given due attention and consideration,” he said.

The winners

Meanwhile, the 2019 President’s Teachers’ and Schools Excellence Award for the Public category was won by Elusakin Iyabo as the best teacher (public category) from Oriwu Secondary School, Ikorodu. She went home with a Hyundai Sonata.

Onwuadi Ifeoma won the Best School Administrator and received a Hyundai Elentra, while Adebiyi Abiola Temitayo won the best teacher (private category) and got a Hyundai Accent.

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Hyundai sonata won by Elusakin Iyabo from Oriwu Secondary School, Ikoridu
Hyundai sonata won by Elusakin Iyabo from Oriwu Secondary School, Ikoridu

Flora Azikiwe Model Comprehensive Secondary School, Anambra State, won the Best School (public category) and got an 18 seater bus donated by JAMB

Pearlville School, Avu, Owerri, won the best school (private category) and received a Foton 15 seater bus.

The World Teachers’ Day is held annually every October 5 to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of teachers.

This recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions

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