As teachers yesterday marked the World Teachers’ Day across the country, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kwara, Ondo and Enugu State has called on governors to recruit more teachers into the state teaching service to address the issue of scarcity of teachers.
For instance, the Chairman in Kwara State, Alhaji Musa Abubakar, while speaking in Ilorin, stated that the recruitment of more teachers in both the primary and secondary schools would improve the teaching and learning of the students, adding that this would go a long way of improving the academic excellence of the state.
He also called on the government to look for alternative way of paying primary school teachers full salary and other entitlements.
The chairman explained that many schools in the state do not have enough teachers and this had impacted negatively on the quality of instructions in the state’s schools.
While advising the government to do the recruitment in a transparent manner that would devoid of politics and sentiments, Abubakar said this would go a long way of recruiting professional teachers that would boost the quality and standard of education of the state.
The chairman, who also decried the non- payment of primary school teachers in the past three months in the state, said: “This abysmal situation has raised a lot of fundamental questions as to the state of education in this country.”
Abubakar therefore called for the institutionalisation of first line charge approach through the instrumentality of the law so as to ensure prompt payment of salary of primary school teachers as at when due.
In Ondo State, the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) led by Mr. Dayo Adebiyi, lamented insufficient teachers in secondary schools in the state.
He tasked the state government to resolve the challenges facing the education sector in the state.
Adebiyi said education sector in the state needed much attention of the government.
ASUSS Chairman appealed to the current administration in the state to find solution to the problem of insufficient teachers in the secondary schools across the state, noting that the security of lives of teachers and students should also be important to the government.
“The level of vacancies in the public secondary schools in the state is too acute and calls for urgent attention of the government to take immediate remedial action,” he said.
Adebiyi also said there was need for the government to try as much as possible to adequately fund education sector in order to meet the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation recommendation of financing education by 26 per cent of its annual budgetary allocation.
In his remarks, a renowned educationist and author, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, urged teachers to contribute to the development of the country.
Arogbofa, who is also the Secretary General of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, also called on the state governments in the country to emulate the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, in celebrating teachers.
Speaking at the occasion, the state Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, said his administration would address the challenges facing the education sector in the state.
In Enugu, the state chapter of NUT equally asked the state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to recruit more teachers for the primary and secondary schools in the state in order to breach the gap created by the inadequate number of teachers in the state.
The union said since teachers were retiring yearly, there was need for more hands to be employed to ensure adequate teaching and learning.
Chairman of the NUT, Ozor Paul Nnaji, who raised the teachers’ concerns, also called on the governor to embark on massive renovation of school buildings most of which are in dilapidated state.
He commended the state government for the cordial relationship that exists between the government, the teachers union and the teachers, especially in the area of prompt payment of salaries and other entitlements, pointing out that there is need for government to make haste to ensure that more teachers are recruited as well as renovate the dilapidated schools blocks for a better learning and teaching environment.
Nnaji further stated that in order for the education system not to collapse, “we need about 6,000 teachers to ensure quality teaching and learning. The attendant effect of acute shortage of teachers in the school system cannot be over-emphasised.”