The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Oyo State chapter, commemorated this year’s World Teachers’ Day with a call on the state government to be more transparent and open in its dealings, making special reference to the crisis that greeted the introduction of new education initiative by the state government.
Chairman, Oyo NUT, Mr Samuel Akano, who made this call, in Ibadan, on Wednesday, decried that teachers were neglected and taken for granted by government at all levels.
He drew a symbiotic relationship between the quality of teachers and the progress of the nation, therefore, calling on government to accord greater recognition, remuneration and rewards to teachers while they were alive.
Bemoaning outstanding salaries and pension arrears in the state, he described as discouraging, the fact that secondary school teachers were owed salaries from April till date, while their primary school counterparts had last received their June salary.
To prevent imminent collapse, Akano urged the stakeholders in the sector to show greater commitment to improving the quality of life of teachers and providing requisite infrastructural facilities in schools.
Speaking at the event, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, called for the collaboration of stakeholders, ranging from government to teachers, students and parents, to revive the state’s education sector in disarray.
On calls for increased funding of the education sector, Olowofela said, “Whether education receives 100 per cent, 20 or 50 per cent, if the teachers are funded and still do not do their job, the result will remain zero. There is an immutable law that whatever you sow, you shall reap. If the teachers teach well, we get good result; if they don’t teach well, we will get bad result.”
In asserting the commitment of the state government to reforming the state’s education sector, Olowofela added, “The Oyo State government does not believe in paying lip service to the rebranding, reformation and transformation of the education sector. It is the duty of teachers to stimulate students positively in their moral and academic pursuits. Students must therefore be trained to harmonise their passions and intellectual capacities in the interest of the nation.”
In his remarks, Secretary, NUT Oyo, Mr Waheed Olojede, emphasised the need for government at all levels to adhere to the UNESCO’s recommendation that 26 per cent of any government’s budget be earmarked to the education sector.
Olojede prayed for an end to the trend of arrears of salaries, promotion and pensions.