Prof. Faruk Haruna, Provost, Federal College of Education Kontagora, Niger, has appealed to government to provide sufficient welfare package and incentives for teachers towards restoring their dignity in the country.
Haruna made the call at the 3rd Combine Convocation Ceremony of the institution on Saturday in Zaria.
The provost said the provision of sufficient welfare package and incentives would restore the dignity of teachers and entice those who had left the teaching profession. “Anything short of bringing this lost glory of the teachers back will be a mirage. “There is no amount of money pump into the sector that will make a meaningful impact if the condition of the teachers themselves is not improved by the government. “It is not just making money available for infrastructure in schools or spending a lot of money on curriculum review; the teacher, who is going to implement the curriculum must be taking care of,’’ he said.
The provost expressed concern on the pathetic situation Nigerian teachers found themselves; adding that teachers’ condition of service was not enticing enough to attract and retain the best brains in the profession. He said that Nigeria would not be able to get out of the present state of decay in the quality of teachers and products in the country until it reinvented the political will on ameliorating the challenges. He noted that the low status accorded teachers in the country did not attract students to enrol and be trained as teachers in Nigeria.
Haruna said that the few who enrolled “do so because they have no choice or other opportunities,” adding that many brilliant individuals were not willing to take up teaching as a profession. According to him, it should not have been so if teaching is upgraded to a position of respect in Nigerian society. “It appears that the present system of education in Nigeria promotes the reservation of intellectually and financially deficient students for the teaching career. “If not, how then can a third-class brains be expected to effectively teach first-class brains,’’ he queried.
The provost, therefore, advocated for the need to change the orientation of people regarding their perception to teachers and the teaching job. He added that the profession must be recognised by the government as well as the public to be able to attract young ones into the profession. Haruna also advocated for true professionalisation of teaching job and the need to overhaul the curriculum. Speaking, the Provost, College of Education Zaria, Dr Ango Ladan, said the presenter talked about education in general and the roles played by key stakeholder in the education sector.
Ladan noted that various state governments were working to bridge the teacher-students gaps towards strengthening basic education sector, especially in Kaduna State. The provost said the school feeding programme had had an impact on school enrolment. Highlights of the event include commissioning of the Multi-Purpose ICT Centre, Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition Center, among other projects in the college by the Minister of Education’s representative, Mr Joel Ojo. (NAN)