By Rosemary Ogbonnaya
As Nigeria Joins the rest of the world to mark World Teachers’ Day, the Federal Ministry of Education said it has commenced the pilot implementation of the increase in retirement age to 65 or 40 years of service for teachers and education officers Guidelines to ensure seamless implementation has been negotiated and outstanding salaries of affected teachers will soon be paid before December 2021.
This was contained in a keynote address by the President Muhammadu Buhari during the World Teachers’ Day held in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Felicitating with teachers and education officers in Nigeria to commemorate the 2021 World Teachers Day, WTD, and the Presidents’ Teachers Schools Excellence Awards on the theme “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery”, Buhari assured Nigerians that the implementation of most of the targets in the positioning of teachers will be achieved by January 2022, adding that teachers’ welfare is paramount in the scheme of things and negotiations are ongoing to ensure that salary is prioritised.
“The 2020 World Teachers Day in Nigeria was phenomenal as all that is needed to invigorate and revitalize the teaching profession was packaged and the Honourable Minister of Education was mandated to implement accordingly’. I am not going to recount the entire components for implementation; however, the Federal Ministry of Education has commenced the pilot implementation of the increase in retirement age to 65 or 40 years of service for teachers and education officers Guidelines to ensure seamless implementation has been negotiated and outstanding salaries of affected teachers will soon be paid before December 2021.
“I know that for Teachers to effectively be at the Heart of Education Recovery, there is a need for continuous re-tooling. Teachers and all those connected with teaching and learning will henceforth undergo annual training on modern techniques of teaching and learning This will include digital Literacy training in pedagogy, Information and Communication Technology and others. Education parastatals like NTI, TRCN, CPN, NUC, NCCE, UBEC, PTDF, TETFund, and other non- governmental organizations will partner with the government to achieve this feat,” he said.
He implored teachers in Nigeria and Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT to reflect on the past and reciprocate this landmark gesture by explicitly committing to the provision of excellent service delivery.
Buhari further said, “This will complement our efforts to provide and sustain quality education for all.”
Speaking also, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu recalled that 2020 WTD celebration was a huge milestone for teachers in Nigeria as President Muhammadu Buhari, revitalization of the teaching profession and Minister made laudable pronouncements to guide the repositioning and accordingly, a national implementation committee was constituted, inaugurated and further broken up into Twelve sub–committees.
Adamu said the sub-committees submitted the following resolutions for implementation: The Re-introduction of Bursary Award; The Ministry will liaise with the Thirty-six (36) states Ministry of Education including the FCT Education Board, identify respective course of study required respectively by each state and the award of N150,000 is proposed for under graduates and N100,000 only to NCE students; Beneficiaries must attend public institutions only and sign a bond to serve their State for five years on graduation;
Other resolutions include: The Fund would be sourced from UBEC, TETFund, and managed by the Federal Scholarship Board; Sponsorship To At Least One Refresher Training Per Annum; The Ministry shall collaborate with agencies like NTI, TRCN, CPN, NUC, NCCE, UBEC, PTDF, TETFund, and non-Governmental Organizations organize training programmes in pedagogy and information and communication Technology for academic and non-academic staff.
The Minister, therefore, assured teachers that frantic efforts are being made to implement the resolutions to complement the delivery of effective and equitable sound education that will foster development and contribute to the evolution of a strong, democratic, egalitarian, prosperous, indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation.