Teachers in Nigeria to earn salaries higher than other workers ―FG
THE Federal Government is working on a proposal to ensure that teachers are paid salaries higher than other workers in Nigeria so as to attract the best to the teaching profession.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who gave this hint on Thursday, while inaugurating the Governing Councils of 21 Federal Colleges of Education, said teaching profession has ceased to be “all-comers affairs”.
He also warned that teachers in Nigeria across all levels must register with the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) before the end of this year or risk being sent out of the system.
Speaking through the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said government has understudied Malaysia and came to realisation that the country got it right by first taking a critical look at teaching and teacher education.
He noted that Malaysia in the quest for greatness had brought down its education sector and reorganised it for effective development of human resource in order to get to where the country is today.
He said to start with, teachers in Malaysia were paid higher than other workers and that the Federal government felt it was expedient to extrapolate that for implementation in Nigeria.
The Minister recalled that Malaysians came to buy palm seedlings from Nigeria at the rate of N10 each, some years ago and that now the economy of Malaysia is completely dependent on palm trees, palm fruits and palm oil, saying in terms of infrastructure, Malaysia is a nice place to be.
He said: “What did they do? They brought the whole system down and ask what you want us to do in education. Their planning was geared towards the development of human resources. In Malaysia, top percent of those who scored the highest in their equivalent of JAMB compete to be teachers.
“If you are a teacher in Malaysia, you are ranked than any other worker in the country. This is why you will find people with PhDs teaching in primary schools. Teachers are paid higher than any other person in Malaysia and we have made that recommendation and we are going to do that in Nigeria,” he said.
Adamu, also lamented the dearth of quality teachers Nigeria, saying it was unfortunate that the noble call has not been able to attract the best and the brightest because of inadequacies in the system.
He insisted that the current administration was ready get right it with the cooperation of all stakeholders.
He added that colleges of education have remained critical institutions because they do not only produce teachers on which everything else is dependent, they also produce teachers at the basic level of education.
He reminded members of the Governing Councils of the enormous task ahead of them saying their appointments, though part-time in nature, have come at a time when the country is recovering from recession and that the institutions have been without Governing Councils since 2015.
Adamu, therefore, challenged the Governing Councils to come with policy direction that would assist in the effort to strengthen the quality of teachers produce by the institutions as well as how to generate funding for their various institutions.
He urged them to avoid friction with the management of the colleges, saying there must be clear distinction between the management role of the institutions and the powers of the Governing Councils to enunciate policies and provide needed fillip for the implementation of those policies.