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World Teachers' Day: ASUSS advocates proper funding, better teachers' welfare

 


By Jeleel Olawale


As Nigeria joins the rest of the global community to celebrate the World Teachers' Day, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) in Osun State, comrade Olusegun Adediran, has stressed the need for government to increase funding going into the education sector.

This, he said, would take care of the need for “regular training of teachers particularly in Information and Communication Technology and contemporary teaching mechanism, recruitment of experienced teachers and improvement of infrastructure for better productivity”.

Adediran spoke in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, at a programme set aside to commemorate the 2022 World Teachers Day, with the theme: "The Transformation of Education begins with Teachers”.

According to him, governments at all levels should recognize the critical role of teachers in transforming learners' potential by ensuring that they have the tools they need to take responsibility for themselves, others and see teachers as knowledge producers.

He urged governments at all levels to give more attention to secondary school education, as it has been described as “a very important aspect of education for national development.

Adediran, maintained that given the importance of secondary education as the link between the formative years and adulthood, it was imperative for governments to pay more attention to its funding and standardisation.
He noted that poor renumeration of teachers and non payment of salary as and when due had negatively affected teaching and learning, according to him, inadequate classrooms, hostels, laboratories, libraries, teaching aids, among others, have grossly affected the moral and productive capacity of teachers.

“Teachers at all levels in Nigeria are going through the most difficult period of their careers. The salary is low compared to the West African Average and this is why many people don’t want to take teaching appointments".

"Most people in the profession chose it as the last resort, hence, the level of commitment and enthusiasm for the job is very low. This is because the society has developed a wrong mental impression about this very important profession".

"The facilities that will enable teachers to put in their best and teach effectively are not there. If the environment you work in is not conducive, it kills your zeal to work. And the Nigerian teachers are not happy with the condition of service that is made available for them to operate".

The state union scribe stressed that teachers are exemplary because of their desire to want to keep imparting on tomorrow’s leaders (children), saying that they are crucial partners in the growth and development of a nation, particularly the training of young ones. Without developing human capacity, the growth of any nation may be in jeopardy.

Adediran said; "Investment in teachers and education is imperative for the attainment of qualitative education. A well-motivated teacher would put in his best and encourage others to join the profession. Teachers should be accorded top priority for efficient service delivery".

"Regrettably, successive governments have not given the needed attention and priority to teachers and the teaching profession. The number of secondary school teachers is inadequate.

"Most teachers in Nigeria face the challenge of poor working conditions, ranging from lack of conducive classrooms to lack of motivation. The lack of allowances and benefits like housing, health, transport among others, has further made the profession less appealing", Adediran said.

According to him, It is sad to see a lot of teachers languishing after many years of service and retirement because the government/politicians have refused to pay pensions. This situation is pathetic.

He averred that the effectiveness and quality of any educational programme is dictated by the quality of the human resources, particularly teachers.

The state ASUSS chairman warned that quality education would remain a mirage if teachers’ education is not in good shape. The quality of teachers supplied into our educational system is a product of a handicapped teachers’ education. It is garbage in garbage out.

“Most of the advanced countries in the world get the best brains as teachers from teacher education because their teachers usually study up to Ph.D levels but reverse is the case in Nigeria".

He lamented that state and federal governments over the years, has not been able to meet up with the UNESCO recommendation of 26 per cent of total budgetary allocation to education, which means that the sector is poorly funded.

Adediran noted that there is a disconnect between political leaders and education managers, reason why they are not conversant with the challenges in the teaching profession.

He eulogised Osun State government for trying its best in improving the education sector and called for improved salary to further retain and attract the best brains to the profession.

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