Nigerian Teachers Make Daunting Demands On World Teachers Day

Unqualified Teachers, FGOctober 5 of every year has been set aside for teachers worldwide in recognition of those described as the vessels of knowledge across the globe.

Teachers have marked the 2016 “World Teachers Day” across Nigeria, with the theme “Valuing Teachers’, Improving their Status”.

They, however, do not have much cause for celebration as they spent most of their time on the streets, carrying placards to demand for better salaries and improvement on their welfare packages.

This comes as at least 80% of Nigerian states owe teachers with some states owing up to nine months salaries and others paying half of the remuneration.

Two-week Ultimatum

However, officials of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) vowed to take drastic step to address the development, as they claimed that payment of gratuities and general welfare of teachers had been handled with kid gloves.

Speaking in Abuja, the NUT President, Michael Olukoya, gave the state governments owing teachers a two-week ultimatum to address the situation.

He threatened that failure to comply would lead to the teachers embarking on a nationwide strike.

Mr Olukoya noted that the effect of the harsh economy had also made their plight worse as their hopes of receiving salaries at the end of the month had been dashed.

Lending his voice, the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, called for support for families of about 600 teachers who lost their lives to the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

A representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Saidou Jallow, also advocated adequate remuneration of teachers.

 

In Kaduna State, the teachers lamented the irregular payment of their salaries and expressed concerns over their general well-being.

The State NUT Chairman, Mr Titus Ambah, claimed that primary school teachers were the most affected with many of them being owed up to eight months salaries.

He also complained that the teachers’ annual Leave Transport Grant, which was deducted from their salaries, had not being paid in spite of several appeals to the relevant government authorities.

Ambah, however, commended the Kaduna State government for upgrading teachers’ terminal salary grade-to-grade level, thereby putting them on same with permanent secretaries.

Low Key Celebrations

In Nigeria’s southwest region, the celebration in Osun State was marked in low key with prayers session instead of the usual pomp and parade at the NUT House in Osogbo, the state’s capital.

The NUT State Chairman, Mr Amudah Wakeel, said the decision was taken as a result of the challenges Nigeria was grappling with, especially the economic recession.

He called on the Federal Government to consider the teachers’ demand for a raise in their retirement age from 60-65 years.

Amudah also highlighted some of the problems facing teachers in the state to include payment of half salary, but gave the assurance that they would remain committed to their jobs.

On her part, the Osun State Deputy Governor, Titi Laoye-Tomori urged the teachers to rededicate themselves to impacting quality knowledge in the children.

She noted that whatever they teach would reflect on the wards and reassured them of the state government’s commitment to their welfare.

In Kwara State, teachers also made an appeal for improvement in their status.

They acknowledged that they were the worst hit at a period of economic recession.

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was with the teachers to commemorate the occasion, admitted that all their needs could not be met because of the present economic reality.

He, however, said he was committed to their needs within the available resources and urged them to carry out their responsibilities with conscience to the pupils, students and the government.

On their part, the teachers called for a pragmatic approach to their plights and urged the state government to address some of the challenges.

Unlike their counterparts, Ekiti State teachers had a different experience, with Governor, Ayodele Fayose, saying that his administration will continue to motivate and support teachers in the state for improved performance and better results.

World-Teachers-Day-in-Ekiti-State
Governor Ayodele Fayose and teachers in Ekiti State celebrating

Governor Fayose made the statement at an event to mark the celebration in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, where he rewarded some outstanding teachers with cash and car gifts.

He also donated 50 million Naira to the teachers for their achievements in the recently released National Examination Council (NECO) results, where the state came first with 96.48 percent performance.

The World Teachers’ Day was celebrated in Ekiti State in a grand style, with teachers from all the 16 local government areas converging on the Oluyemi Kayode stadium in the state’s capital.

In their goodwill messages, some dignitaries and the state’s NLC Chairman, Kayode Akosile, stressed the importance of teachers in the society and commended the Governor for his giant strides in the education sector.

Osun Flood: Government Promises To Clear Waterways Again

Rauf Aregbesola Osun State governor on flood The Osun State government has promised to intensify efforts to ensure that waterways are cleared to avert a recurrence of flooding that led to the death of one person and destruction of property.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his Deputy, Mrs Titilayo Tomori-Laoye, made the promise on Wednesday evening when they visited some of the areas affected by the flood to commiserate with them.

Addressing reporters at the Cac Oke Igbala DCC Headquarters in Gbonmi area of Osogbo, Governor Aregbesola said his administration was deeply sorry for the loss of life and property of the people.

Regularly Desilting Waterways

The Governor urged the residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, which he said was largely responsible ‎for the flooding.

Osun State Flood
Vehicles submerged after the rains

He said his administration had in time past invested so much in dredging the major waterways identified as flood prone zones ‎to avert such occurrence.

Governor Aregbesola, however, promised that his government would ‎intensify efforts at ensuring that the waterways were made free to avert future occurrence.

“We have been very much committed to ensuring absence of this calamity.

“Since the advent of the administration, we have been regularly desilting the waterways on an annual basis.

He said that although the state had received a flood alert, the government had, considering its deflooding efforts, it never expected it to have the devastating effect.

It had rained heavily for hours in Osogbo the capital of Osun State, resulting to flooding of some communities.

Residents said help that came from the emergency agencies or the state authorities was late.

Osun-flood
Residents said the low nature of the bridge contributed largely to the flooding

Channels Television’s correspondent, who returned to the scene of the incident, said residents property have been destroyed and the flooding has left one person dead.

A woman and her daughter were trapped in a store just as many of the residents around one of the communities were stranded after a bridge collapsed.

One of the residents affected said the cause of the flooding was a bridge that they said drainages within the area were channeled, which they insisted was too low.

“The government should break down that bridge and carry it up just like that of Ajegunle and create a very good gutter here. That is all we need,” he requested.

Osun State Government Partners With NGO To Train Teachers

teachers_NTIThe government of Osun State, South-west Nigeria in partnership with a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Charles Bebeye Ndiomu Foundation, have setup an initiative to train school teachers for effective education in the state.

The trainees, who were 40 in number, were selected from different public junior secondary schools of the three Senatorial Districts across the state.

According to the Osun State Deputy Governor, Titilayo Laoye-Tomori ‎and other speakers at the workshop tagged ‘Train the Trainer Initiative’ in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the training was setup to revamp the education sector by equipping teachers, particularly from public schools, with adequate and efficient knowledge and skill for better performance in classroom management.

A Technical Consultant, Ani Bassey -Eyo , and another Consultant, Ifeoma Udong, were speakers at the workshop.

They stressed that the education sector required a total overhaul for better performance of the students, stressing that private firms and NGOs could partner with the government to help rehabilitate teachers for productivity that would be beneficial to the society.

The State Deputy Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Osun State Ministry of Education, Lawrence Oyeniran, ‎said investing in education had always been on the top of the government’s list, hence the partnership with the Foundation to assist in retraining the teachers, to increase student’s performance and decrease teacher anxiety.

Some participants at the workshop, Abidemi Adeoye and Tunde Abolarinwa, said they now have more classroom management tips to facilitate better teaching and learning for all parties.

However, with the necessary skills for managing classroom activities and accommodating individual needs of the students, there would be a major improvement in the performance of the students in all ramifications.