President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a special salary scale for Nigerian teachers as well as increased years of service from 35 to 40.
The President made the announcement, yesterday, as the world marked World Teachers’ Day.
For years, teachers have agitated for an increase in their retirement age, welfare, and salaries.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, announced the changes in teachers’ salary scale and retirement age in Abuja at an event to mark the day.
The theme for the celebration, ‘Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future,” reflects the resilience of teachers and school administrators globally amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhari instructed the ministry to facilitate the implementation of the new salary scheme, saying it would encourage teachers to deliver better service.
According to him, teachers have the power to shape and reshape the lives of young people and enhance their potential.
“Only great teachers can produce excellent people and students that will make the future of our country great. A positive or negative influence of a teacher on any child will have an effect on that child. Therefore, the Federal Government is ensuring quality education.”
He said his administration had resolved to ensure quality education of teachers by giving priority to continued professional development.
He emphasized that the future of the country would depend on quality education for children and that the quality of teachers would depend on motivation.
He said, “To address these challenges, my administration has approved the following for teachers and the teaching profession. That in order to attract investment in the teaching profession, the quality of the introduction of a bursary award has been restored.
“There will be a special pension scheme to enable the teaching profession to retain its experienced talents as well as extend teachers retirement age to 65 years and the duration of teaching years to 40 years.”
He added that his administration had also approved the building of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas, sponsorship of teachers, prompt payment of salary, and timely promotion to eliminate stagnation, to motivate and restore lost glory to teachers and teaching in the country.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, identified the teaching profession as the greatest profession in the world, which must be accorded adequate recognition and respect.
Nwajuiba noted that the picture of a Nigerian teacher in the 1960s and 1970s, which reflected discipline, needed to be replicated.
He said, “In those days, very comfortable and important figures in the society would send their children to a teacher’s house for grooming. That was the teacher then.
“Teacher’s children and those that lived with them became the crème de la crème of the society. The society sadly has tilted towards ephemeral appearances that negate the standard of teachers as role models.
“We think this should stop. Teachers deserve recognition and respect. The first step is to have qualified teachers in practice.”
To achieve the goal, he said his ministry, through the Teachers Registration Council, was making effort to withdraw unqualified teachers nationwide.
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