The former Labour Party (LP) Governorship Candidate in Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu, has called for an urgent implementation of Special Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) for all teachers in public and private schools across the country.
Comrade Aremu, who is a National Executive Council (NEC) member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), made the call in a Solidarity statement marking 2019 World Teachers Day (WTD) held in Abuja on Saturday.
World Teachers Day (WTD) is declared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), October 5th every year.
The celebration apparently offers annual platform to draw public attention to the plight of working teachers in particular and education in general.
Aremu observed that the best way to retain young teachers in the teaching profession is good and sustainable reward system that must start with minimum and living wage for all working teaching men and women in Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that implementation of TSS will further stimulate Teachers’ interests in the discharge of their duties which according to him will not only sustain them but also add more value and standard to the educational status of Nigeria.
The labour leader lamented that Nigeria’s primary education crisis has almost been defined in terms of falling quality, incoherent curriculum, examinations malpractices, poor funding, dilapidated structures and abysmally poor sector management.
He affirmed that it was time searchlights were beamed on the status of teachers, “the real drivers of education and their status”.
Aremu hailed the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), for organizing a number of activities and promotional manifestations to bring to the fore critical issues begging for attention in the country’s education sector today.
He said 2019 Teachers’ Day celebration assumes special importance as it focuses on the urgent “need to retain Young teachers in the teaching profession in which there has been much attrition as many trained teachers are leaving the profession”.
Aremu added that this year edition of the celebration also marks the 53rd anniversary of the UNESCO/ILO recommendation on the Status of Teachers in the countries that ratified the recommendation in 1966.
According to him, Nigeria faces the challenges of both quality and quantity of teachers. He called on the Federal and state governments to massively recruit, motivate and train more teachers for Nigeria to be able to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Education, he said is key to all the 17 development goals to which Nigeria subscribes, adding that there can only be good education with good quality teachers, lamenting that with less than 3 million teachers in public schools, teachers per pupil is still low in Nigeria.”
Comrade Aremu therefore commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sustaining the President’s Teachers and School Excellence Award which has restored the dignity of teachers nation wide.
He also hailed Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state for building on the legacy of his predecessor, to deepen education development in the state by enhancing the status of teachers.