WTD: NUT demands legal backing for new salary scale, service years


Friday Olokor, Dayo Ojerinde, Grace Edema, Wale Oyewale, Enyioha, Opara Dele Ogunyemi, Gbenga Odogun, Sunday Nwakanma and Abiodun Nejo

The Nigerian Union of Teachers on Wednesday demanded legal backing as the Federal Government approved a special salary scale for basic and secondary school teachers in Nigeria.

The government also increased retirement age of the teachers from 60 to 65, and the number of service years from 35 to 40.

The gestures, which were announced on the occasion of the 2020 World Teachers’ Day, were, according to the government, part of its efforts to revitalise the teaching profession by introducing “fundamental and far reaching changes.”

But the TUC expressed fear over the implementation of the policies.

Speaking to The PUNCH in an interview, the Secretary-General, NUT, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, said it wouldn’t come as a surprised  if some stakeholders began to bring technicalities that would prolong the implementation.

He said, “I don’t know the minds of other people, because this thing needs to be backed by law. If this is not backed by law, it is like someone carrying approval that has no cash point. I have not seen any Act on it now; the next thing is for us to pursue the implementation, so that it will not just be a mere approval. We need to pursue it and back it up with an Act.

“The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, NUT and other relevant stakeholders must work together and ensure that  all of today’s promises become a reality.

 “You will now discover that from now till another World Teacher’s Day nothing may happen  because of technicalities, they will be saying this one needs law and all manners of excuse.”

Earlier, during the celebration in Abuja, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), represented by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said the new development was to attract best brains into the teaching profession and encourage teachers in delivering better services that would produce quality students who would in turn contribute to national development.

The President said, “Government notes the emergency situation in our educational system with particular reference to the dearth of qualified and dedicated teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at all levels of our educational system.

“To address these challenges and set our country on the path of industrialisation where our educational system will produce the needed skills and manpower, I have approved the following:

“The reintroduction of bursary award to education students in universities and colleges of education with assurance of automatic employment upon graduation, payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students, as well as granting them automatic employment after graduation is now a government policy.

“The Tertiary Education Fund will now fund teaching practice in universities and colleges of education, special salary scale for teachers in basic and secondary schools including provisions for rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance.

“Special teacher pension scheme to enable the teaching profession retain its experienced talent as well as extend teachers retirement age to 65 years and teachers service years to 40,  create a career path policy for teaching profession in Nigeria and, teachers conversion programme and ICT training to mitigate the current dearth of qualified teachers in the school system.”

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President Buhari also approved other incentives to motivate teachers, including the building of low cost houses for teachers in rural areas; sponsorship of teachers to at least one refresher training per annum and expansion of annual Presidential teachers and schools awards to cover more categories.

At the event, the President of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Nasir Idris, urged government to ensure strict compliance of schools to the COVID – 19 protocols on safe reopening of schools.

Abiodun, Obaseki reward teachers

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has rewarded award-winning teachers in the state with cash prizes and a house.

The governor, according to a statement on Monday, offered Mr Odegbola Ayodele, a Junior Secondary School teacher from Abeokuta Grammar school, who also won the overall Best Teacher award in the State, a two-bedroom bungalow in the state-owned Princes Court.

Mr Adewale Abayomi, from Odua Comprehensive High School, Imoru, who was the Best Teacher in the Senior Secondary category, was given the sum of N2.5m. Mrs. Mary Adeyemi, from St. Paul’s School II, Sagamu, who was the best Primary School Teacher went home with a cash gift of N2m from the governor.

Abiodun said, “We will continue to celebrate innovation, we will encourage consistency. Our administration will continue to make the welfare of our teachers our priority. Our teachers’ reward will not be in heaven, but here on earth.”

Also, the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, rewarded 20 teachers in the state for their outstanding performance in adapting to the technology-driven [email protected] initiative in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The governor also unveiled the Edo Supporting Teachers to Achieve Results Teaching Fellows Programme, a three-year intensive training and field experience programme for teachers and aspiring teachers who would be transited into the state civil service on completion of the programme.

He said the [email protected] initiative which was inaugurated on April 27, 2020, offered each pupil an opportunity to access learning materials remotely from the website of the State Universal Basic Education Board, virtual learning platform through WhatsApp groups and audio channels.

Oyo reiterates commitment to support teachers

The Oyo State Government has reiterated its commitment to providing an enabling environment for teachers in the state through training, infrastructural provision, as well as the payment of allowances and benefits.

The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Nureni Adeniran, said this on Monday during the World Teachers’ Day Celebration.

Adeniran said, “Teachers are one of the most influential forces for equity, access and quality in education. Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration places much emphasis on human capital development.

“We will give more attention to the training of teachers in order to enhance their capacities for effective service delivery.”

Adeniran, who stressed the need to revitalise the education sector, lauded the efforts of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, the Association of Primary School Head Teachers and other bodies in strengthening teachers’ quality.

Niger teachers laud govt on school reopening

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THE Nigeria Union of Teachers, Niger State chapter has commended the state government for reopening the schools in the state.

The State Chairman of NUT, Ibrahim Umar, while speaking during the World Teachers Day celebration in Minna on Monday, advised the state government to make the school environments safe for both teachers and students.

He said, “The union equally wishes to call on the state government to consider teachers in the ongoing distribution of palliatives in cushioning the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Umar also reminded the state government that several teachers in both primary and secondary schools in the state were yet to be paid September 2020 salaries.

World Teachers Day unique – Delta Commissioner

Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Patrick Ukah, on Monday, said the year 2020 was a very unique and extraordinary year for the education sector, saying the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges in various ways to the already constrained educational system.

The commissioner said this in his goodwill message during the 2020 World Teachers Day celebration, adding that the ‘new-normal reality’ had challenged the old ways of teaching and learning.

He said his ministry introduced the ‘Delta Teleclass’ to bring learning to the pupils in their respective homes during the lockdown period.

He thanked the teachers for demonstrating leadership in crisis time, an action that he said was related to the theme of the 2020 Teachers day celebration, ‘Teachers: Leading In Crisis, Reimaging The future.’

Employ more teachers, NUT, ASSUS tells Lagos, Kogi

The Kogi State chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools has appealed to the state government to reactivate the process of the recruitment of the approved 3,000 teachers.

The chairman of the union, Ranti Ojo, made the appeal on Monday during the 2020 World Teachers’ Day celebration.

“We applaud and commend the initiative of the governor of Yahaya Bello, in approving the recruitment of 3,000 teachers shortly before the 2019 Kogi State Governorship election in November 2019.

“At that time, however, we did not hide out skepticism as a result of the timing of the initiative.  Our skepticism was hinged on our previous experience where the government of Captain Idris Wada hurriedly employed 500 teachers for the commission in the wee days of his administration, only for the present government to lay them off,” Aderemi said.

 Also, the Kogi State NUT Chairman, Thomas Aderemi, appealed to the state government to prioritise the payment of 100 per cent salary to primary school teachers in the state.

“We are  appealing to Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to fulfil his earlier promise and eradicate the obnoxious practice that has made the Primary School Teachers lesser human beings than other categories of workers in the state” the NUT boss stated.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers has called on the Lagos State Government to employ more teachers to fill the vacuum created by retired teachers in public schools.

The Chairman of the union in the state, Mr Adedoyin Adesina, made the call at the celebration of 2020 World Teacher’s Day in Lagos State on Monday.

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Adesina, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, said the union recommended that the state government should employ new teachers.

He acknowledged that the government had employed some teachers in both the secondary and primary schools earlier this year but the number was still short of expectation.

“Many teachers have retired this year and the vacuum has to be filled in the various subjects,’’ Adesina said.

He also spoke on the need for the state to build additional classrooms to give room for physical distancing among students in line with the COVID-19 guideline.

“This is the ideal, to implement the UNESCO’s standard of one teacher to 25 learners in a classroom. Low-cost buildings can be built as an emergency across the state,’’ Adesina said.

 Abia teachers list challenges

The Abia State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers on Monday highlighted the challenges facing them in the state.

The state chairman of NUT, Kizito Kalu, at the 2020 World Teachers’ Day celebration in Umuahia, highlighted the challenges to include non-payment of primary and secondary school teachers up to 13 months, non-payment of TSS to Primary school teachers and non-implementation of their promotion.

Other challenges, according to Kalu were the non-payment of 11 months minimum wage arrears to secondary school teachers and arrears of leave allowances to them and their colleagues in primary schools.

The union pleaded with the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, to intervene, reminding him that teachers’ reward was no longer in heaven.

Responding, Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Barr. ACB Agbazuere, assured the teachers that they will receive ‘another’ salary alert from Tuesday (today).

Fayemi charges teachers to reposition schools

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Monday urged teachers to brace for the tasks of rebuilding the school system which had been under lockdown in the last six months.

Fayemi, who described teachers as major stakeholders in the drive towards nation-building, said government policies in the education sector could not succeed without the support and cooperation of teachers.

The governor, who spoke at the 2020 World Teacher’s Day celebration in Ado Ekiti, urged teachers to maintain the hard work in order to improve on the remarkable performance of students in their external examinations and other related academic activities as they were gradually returning to school.

He said, “We will keep putting every measure in place towards empowering teachers, improving and professionalising teaching through the activities of the Teaching Service Commission and the State Universal Basic Education Board.

“We are not unmindful of the importance of quality education to manage the socio-political and economic challenges being encountered by society. A good and dutiful teacher is not just a person who teaches academic lessons, rather, he is the one who mentors and helps the learner in each sphere of his life.”

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