By Benprince Ezeh
THE Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, has urged the Lagos state government to address the issue of payment of gratuities and pensions of teachers so as to make retirement life joyful for teachers across the country.
Muhammed Idris, national president of the NUT, made the plea at the 2019 World Teachers’ Day celebrations, organised by the NUT Lagos State chapter in Lagos.
“Young Teacher; The Future of the Profession” which was this year’s theme is being held annually on Oct. 5, to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO/ILO recommendation concerning the status of teachers.
According to Idris, every teacher across the country deserves to be purposeful, fulfilled and find fulfilment after retirement. “NUT has bserved with dismay the plights of retired teachers, who despite their toils, sacrifices and had performed meritorious services to the nation, are denied retirement benefits.
“The establishment of the contributory pension scheme in the country is a right step in the right direction. However, the scheme is engulfed in teething challenges in some states of the federation,” he said.
He stressed that the theme of this year’s celebration would draw public attention to the issues of attrition, teacher shortage and the challenge of attracting and retaining young, motivated and dedicated teachers into the teaching profession. “According to UNESCO, Institute of Statistics (2016), over 69 million teachers are needed for primary and secondary education to meet the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, around the world by 2030.
“Out of this number, the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, UIS, report indicated that 48.6 million new recruits are needed to replace those teachers, who are to leave the profession either through retirement or voluntarily.
“In Nigeria, the issue of shortage of teachers has remained a major challenge in the education system, reports from practitioners indicate an alarming rate of retirement of teachers without a corresponding recruitment to fill the gap,” he said.
With the joy and importance of this year’s event, Dapo Abiodun, executive governor of Ogun State, announced the immediate reinstatement of two teachers, who were sacked by the immediate past administration.
One of the affected teachers, Olusanjo Majekodunmi, who was a Deputy Director at the state ministry of education, science and technology, was laid off in 2015 for setting “offensive” English questions for the state unified examination.
The other teacher, Oludare Ilekoya, a former chairman of the state branch of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, was sacked over alleged “involvement in various acts of misconduct and contravention of extant regulations” during the World Teachers’ Day celebrations in 2016.
He announced the reinstatement during the celebration at the Moshood Abiola International Stadium, Abeokuta, saying that his administration would continue to ensure that the rights of teachers are protected.
The governor, who admitted that teachers had rights to engage in unionism, however, urged labour leaders to be cautious, moderate and show understanding in pushing their requests and agitations before the government. “Let me use this opportunity to call on all of you to join hands with my administration to actualise its “Building our Future
Together” agenda,” he said. According to the governor, World Teachers’ Day celebration is a key element of nation building and catalyst for the mental, physical, social and spiritual development of humanity.
He stressed the importance of teachers’ roles in moulding the younger generation, adding that “they are fast becoming foster parents as well as builders of a brighter generation. “I know very much the sacrifices that teachers make on a daily basis to impact knowledge,” he said.
-Oct 8, 2019 @16:45 GMT |