•Ekiti teacher is nation’s best

•Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu (left) presenting a car’s keys to the winner of the Overall Best Teacher, Mr Asubiojo Olaoluwa, from Amoye Grammar School, Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State during the 2020 World Teacher’s Day celebration in Abuja on Monday. 

It is a new lease of life for teachers as President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday announced some incentives which will give them their reward here on earth.

On the occasion to mark the World Teacher’s Day, the President approved special packages for teachers and those aspiring to join the profession.

These are:
.Special salary scale for basic and secondary school teachers

.Increase of mandatory service years from 35 years to 40 years

.Construction of low-cost houses for teachers in the rural areas

.Special allowance for teachers in the rural areas

.Peculiar allowance for science teachers

.Automatic admission into public schools for biological children of teachers. 

.They are also to enjoy free tuition

.Automatic employment for Education graduates

.Provision of loan facilities for agriculture, housing, cars, motorcycles, among others.

While calling for the implementation of the minimum wage for  all teachers without further delay, he reiterated the union’s call on relevant authorities to ensure that the 27.5 per cent professional allowance was paid to teachers of Federal Government-owned schools and colleges.

A 50-year-old teacher, Asubiojo Olaoluwa, from Amoye Grammar School, Ikere, Ekiti State, emerged the overall best teacher in the country. He went home with a brand new Hyundai car.

Represented by Education  Minister  Adamu Adamu  at the event with the  theme: “Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future,” a theme that captures the resilience of teachers and school administrators amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the President ordered the  Ministry of Education to ensure accelerated implementation of his directives  in collaboration with states and local governments, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation,  the National Salaries, Incomes and Commission, and other relevant agencies.

He added that the approvals  would help enthrone a culture of competence, discipline, dedication, increased learning outcomes, and better service delivery in the nation’s education sector.

According to him, teachers have the power to shape and reshape the lives of young people and help learners to enhance their potential.

He said: “A positive or negative influence of a teacher on any child will have an effect on that child. Therefore the federal government is ensuring that teachers have access to quality education and relevant professional training programmes to equip them.

“My administration has resolved that quality education of teachers in terms of engagement of continued professional development have to be given priority.

“The future of this country will be a function of the quality education delivered to our children today and this depends on the quality of our teachers and the quality of our teachers depend on the motivation and their motivation depends on how happy they are doing what they are doing.

“To address these challenges, my administration has approved the following for teachers and the teaching profession. That in order to attract investment in the teaching profession, the quality of the introduction of a bursary award has been restored.

“There will be a special pension scheme to enable the teaching profession retains its experienced talents as well as extend teachers retirement age to 65 years and the duration of teachers years to 40 years.

“ And that is to create a career path policy for the teaching profession in Nigeria and gives speedy teachers to programme and ICT training.

The President added that his administration had also approved the sponsorship of teachers to  motivate and restore their lost glory and teaching in the country.

Minister of State for Education,  Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, said that “teaching, being the greatest profession in the world,”  must be accorded adequate recognition and respect.

Nwajuiba noted that the picture of a Nigerian teacher in the 1960s and 1970s, which connoted discipline, needed to be replicated in today’s profession.

According to him, having a day to celebrate the teacher is just but a token gesture of recognition to the sacrificial contribution of teachers.

The minister however, urged individuals, states, and council area education authorities and corporate organisations to replicate a reward system in order to institutionalise productivity in the education sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono,  commended the enduring selfless devotion of all teachers across the federation, especially those in crisis thorn and remote areas.

He also appreciated  UNESCO for its recommendation to all nations to dedicate  every  October  5 as a special day to remember the signing of the standard-setting instrument on the status of teachers.

“To the individual, who has enjoyed the privilege of being taught by a teacher, I urge you to always remember to appreciate that special teacher who laid the foundation for the success you have achieved in life,” Echono said.

National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nasir Idris expressed dismay that the N30,000.00 minimum wage approved for all Nigerian workers since April 2019 was yet to be implemented for teachers in some states and the Federal Capital Territory.

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