TO commemorate this year’s World Teachers’ Day, the federal government has

Mallam Adamu Adamu

approved a special package for Nigerian teachers which include improved salary scale and increment in the number of years of service for teachers in Nigeria.

This was made known by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari during the celebration of the 2020 World Teachers’ Day ceremony which held in Abuja on Monday.

President Buhari, who said the implementation of the new package is meant to encourage teachers to deliver better service, instructed the Ministry of Education to facilitate the implementation of the new package. Teachers, he said, have the power to shape and reshape the lives of young people and help them to enhance their potentials.

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“Only great teachers can produce excellent people and students that will make the future of our country great. A positive or negative influence of teachers on any child will have effect on that child. Therefore the federal government is ensuring access to quality education.

“My administration has resolved that quality education of teachers in terms of engagement of continued professional development has to be given priority. The future of this country will be a function of quality education delivered to our children today and this depend 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 bursary award has been restored.

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

He added that his administration has also approved the building of low-cost houses for teachers in rural areas, the sponsorship of teachers to programmes and ICT training; the prompt payment of salary and timely promotion of teachers to eliminate stagnation. He said this would motivate and restore the lost glory of teachers and teaching in the country.

This year’s theme, “Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Re-imagining the Future,” is meant to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind, a statement by UNESCO said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly added to the challenges faced by already over-extended education systems throughout the world. It is no exaggeration to say that the world is at a crossroads and, now more than ever, we must work with teachers to protect the right to education and guide it into the unfolding landscape brought about by the pandemic.

“The issue of teacher leadership in relation to crisis responses is not just timely, but critical in terms of the contributions teachers have made to provide remote learning, support vulnerable populations, re-open schools, and ensure that learning gaps have been mitigated. The discussions surrounding WTD will also address the role of teachers in building resilience and shaping the future of education and the teaching profession,” said UNESCO.

The World Teachers’ Day has been held annually on 5 October since 1994 to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.

According to UNESCO, 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.

“The Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel was adopted in 1997 to complement the 1966 Recommendation by covering teaching and research personnel in higher education,” says the organisation, adding that with “the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, and the dedicated target (SDG 4.c) recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda, WTD has become the occasion to mark progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession.”

The World Teachers’ Day is co-convened every year by UNESCO, UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation and Education International.

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