Worldwide, October 5 is celebrated as teachers’ day. For
Teachers all over the world apart from, perhaps,
But a lot of questions readily come to the front burner from the seeming ennobling gesture by the federal government to jack up primary and secondary school teachers’ salaries. Was the minister just massaging the already bruised ego of the Nigerian teacher by cashing in on that day to tell them their plight is being considered? If that is not the case, why wait all of these years before suddenly beginning to think of doing something about the sorry passé of secondary and primary school’s teachers? Why now? Why give the impression that the government is simply playing politics with the condition of the ‘’moulders of professions and professionals?
That the minister has come out to say that his boss was considering an increment of the salaries of primary and secondary school teachers ordinarily exposes him as someone who is hardly abreast of global best practices in attending to problems associated with the teaching profession. The minister should know that when you say that you cannot pay teachers, it simply means that: that there is no amount of money you could give to someone who moulds ‘’professions and professionals’’, and who stands in loco parentis to children that could ever be remunerative.
In civilized countries, people stopped throwing money at conditions that appear intractable. They attend to these problems with ideas. Take another example of a seemingly intractable problem in the educational system of the
The answer may lie in the fact that serious attention has never really been given to the conditions of primary and secondary school teachers. Of the three reasons given by educators for the collapse of the national version of the Universal Primary Education, UPE, was the fact that as at that time, the government had no idea how many teachers it had on its payroll, what with their inability to envisage the numbers that took advantage of the programme. Therefore, what seems best to do at this critical point in time is that, as the present government seeks to sustain the tempo generated by the re-launch of the Universal Basic Education, UBE, by its predecessor, it should also think in terms of ‘rewarding’ teachers by putting in place long-term programmes like a UBE for teachers. Otherwise what use is it to want to educate our children when the teachers to educate them are not educated or work in a competence-driven school environment?