The Kaduna State government, on Wednesday, advised teachers in the state to strive to improve their professional status, for effective service delivery.
The governor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that teachers had not been accessing the provisions made by government for teachers’ professional development.
He said that the government had set aside funds for teachers’ professional training in local and foreign institutions.
“I want to hear teachers applying that they want to upgrade to masters or doctorate degree, but no one is applying and the fund is just lying dormant,” el-Rufa’i said.
He said that the state had allocated 35 per cent of its 2016 budget to education, far above the 26 per cent recommended by UNESCO, to reposition the sector for quality service delivery.
el-Rufa’i commended the National Council on Education for approving the re-introduction of History and Religious Studies in all Nigerian schools.
The governor was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Andrew Nok.
The guest speaker, Dr Benjamin Gugon of Kaduna State University, advised the government to introduce reward system, to motivate teachers.
He also called for special salary package for teachers in the country.
Earlier, the state chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr Audu Amba, commended the state government for its consistency in paying teachers’ salaries and upgrading teachers’ terminal salary to grade level 17, equivalent to that of permanent secretary.
The NUT boss, however, called on the state government to settle the 2015 Leave Transport Grant of primary school teachers, which was yet to be paid.
Also speaking, the Head of Service, Mrs Alisabatu Dada-Onazi apologised to teachers in the state for the pains they had to endure during the verification of their employment status.
She said that 9,000 teachers out of over 77, 000 in public primary and secondary schools were found to have “questionable” employment status.
Dada-Onazi assured that the affected teachers would be re-instated once they were able to prove the genuiness of their employment.
Meanwhile, a teacher with Government Secondary School, Angwan Boro, Mrs Rahab Yahaya, has called for improvement in the salaries of teachers.
She said that the current take home pay for teachers was “very poor,” stressing that enhancing the salary package would help to retain competent hands in the profession.