As part of activities to mark this year’s World Teachers’ Day, Queen’s College, Yaba has rewarded teachers who distinguished themselves in the service to humanity.
The school rewarded the best teacher for each class- junior secondary two (JS2), JS 3, senior secondary one (SS1), SS2 and SS3. There were also prizes for the most caring teacher, best dressed among the female and among the male teachers, best counsellor, among others.
The prizes ranged from bed side fridges, TV sets, dinning set, recharble fans and other consolation prizes of pressing irons for all runners-up. All teachers also got towels as general gifts.
On the criteria for selecting the winners. the Principal, Dr. Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye said she designed a questionnaire, asking students to state their best/worst teachers and state reasons for their responses.
“And one of those days while we were having staff briefing, I mandated some of our young officers to go to the classrooms and dustribute the questionaires to all the students and retrieve them after a short while. We then harvested their answers and of course they also mentioned who their worst teachers are with reasons.”
In terms of teacher development, Yakubu-Oyinloye said the school sends teachers out for various types of capacity building from time to time, adding that the federal government has also been doing a lot in that direction by organising periodic trainings programmes for various categories of its teachers.
“On our part here in Queen’s College, we sent out one of our teachers that is our Mathematics teacher during the last session to the National Mathematical Centre for training. Also, we have invited the Nigeria institute for Educational Administration and Planning in Ondo to come over for a two-day training for our teachers.
“We are also being given training on ICT and other things in a bid to raise 21st century teachers. In this 21st century, teachers need to learn how to collaborate, do reaseach and cooperate with one another on how to inspire students, as well as cope with the challenges of the 21st century.”
On how to attract young persons to the teaching profession in line with the theme of this year’s celebration, the principal said: “Well, taking a case study of our school, it is a mixture of both the young and old teachers. I feel in answering that question, it could basically start by making the salary attractive.
So once we have that, benefits, the conducive environment, I think the universities too are there for them to take only the best of the best into the faculty of education, things will turn out differently for the profession. Once the salaries are the same as the of practitioners in other professions, they will come.”
She said the school still needs more teachers in subjects like Hausa Language, Chemistry, Visual Arts, Music and French, as well as Mathematics and English Language.
A member of the Association of Senior Civil Sevants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Queen’s College Chapter, Samuel Okediran, stated that the working condition of teachers in the college is standard, adding, “The working environment is not bad for teachers and we are so fortunate to have the kind of principal we have today at the helm of affairs in this college.
“In fact I will say that this is the first time we are having this kind of Teachers’ Day celebration. It was celebrated in a way that we feel happy as teachers; in a way that we feel we are recognised and we are being appreciated as teachers.”
Okediran however said government should step up efforts in ensuring the implementation of the minimum wage. “You know there is a general saying that ‘teachers reward is in heaven’, who says our reward cannot be on earth. The doctors, lawyers, as they are today are all well paid and are happy. Do we now have any one if them that did not pass through the tutelage, nurturing and counselling of teachers at school?”
There is none. Unfortunately the Nigerian system is not structured in a way that teachers will be appreciated.