Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Mr Olusegun Ajiboye, has called for better treatment of teachers in the country, saying Nigerian teachers must enjoy their rewards on earth and not in heaven.
Ajiboye who said an hungry teacher cannot teach or impart any knowledge to pupils, tasked state governors owing teachers to make them happy by paying them and attending to their welfare and see how well teachers will be committed to their duties.
The TRCN boss while speaking on Tuesday, noted that while no country can develop beyond the level of its education, no education can develop beyond the quality of its teachers.
He said, “Having realised that, I think we have to provide appropriate funding to address the problem of teacher education in Nigeria both in-service and those out of service. We know that Nigerian teachers are not lazy and they know the dictates of their job but you cannot treat your employees in a way that you owe them and you want them to perform. We have done professional development plans and professional standards and they contain what is expected of our teachers.”
While stating that Nigerians will soon see the effects of the professionalism been championed by TRCN, Ajiboye noted that teachers welfare should be uppermost to a serious government who hopes to get the best from their education system.
He said, “We also need to address the issue of teacher welfare because they are two sides of the same coin. This has gone to the lowest ebb in Nigeria because you have a few states in Nigeria that are owing teachers for months and this is not acceptable and we are challenging our state executives because if you are looking for the best from your teachers you must take care of their welfare.
"Welfare of teachers in Nigeria is a big challenge and I want to appreciate what the Federal Government is doing in the unity schools. No teacher is being owed salary there. We are appealing to the state governors to attend to teachers welfare. We cannot get the best from our teachers if we don’t take care of their welfare”
He added that TRCN has started engaging state governors on the need to enhance quality and welfare of teachers by making sure that they are well taken care of, noting that an hungry person cannot go to the classroom while it is a happy teacher that will make a happy education.