Saturday, October 31, 2020

Mixed reactions from state governments when FG pushes teachers

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… FG approves a special salary scale for teachers, increases their tenure from 35 to 40 years

… Reintroduces scholarships for college education students, COE

… To pay stipends to Bachelor of Education students

… Says giving them * automatic employment after graduation is now a policy

… Directs TETFUND to finance teaching practice in universities, COE, others

… NCE holders can earn N310,000 per month, graduates N350,000

… Kano, Edo, Kogi, Ondo react; FG cannot dictate to states about that – LAGOS

By Dayo Johnson, Regional Editor, South-West, Festus Ahon, Gabriel Enogholase, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Joseph Erunke, Boluwaji Obahopo, Bashir Bello and Adesina Wahab

President Muhammadu Buhari approved a special salary scale and a new retirement age for teachers in elementary and secondary schools across the country.

The gesture, which was announced yesterday by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, was in commemoration of World Teachers’ Day.

The president increased the number of years of service for teachers from 35 to 40.

Over the years, Nigerian teachers have continued to agitate for, among others, an increase in their retirement age, welfare and salaries.

If what the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, proposed as the new pay scale for its members is what President Muhamadu Buhari approved yesterday, then a new life is coming for teachers in the country, as a National Certificate of Education, NCE. , incumbents would earn N310,000 per month, while their college graduate counterparts would take home N350,000.

Since education is on the concurrent list of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), some states, including Kano, Delta and Kogi, said yesterday that they were looking into development to make an informed decision.

But Lagos state argued that the federal government cannot dictate to states what to pay their teachers, while the Edo state government said it would do better than the federal government.

However, President Buhari, at the celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2020 in Abuja, explained that the implementation of the new salary scheme for teachers was aimed at encouraging them to provide better services.

The President also increased the retirement age of teachers from 60 to 65 and the number of years of service from 35 to 40.

He said these measures are part of the government’s ongoing moves to revitalize and reposition the teaching profession.

The president said a review of teacher development policies had revealed huge gaps in the quantity and quality of teachers at all levels of the country’s education system, adding that the status and morale of teachers are currently in at its lowest point.

Buhari said that the implementation of the new policies was aimed at attracting the best brains into the teaching profession and encouraging teachers to provide better services that would produce quality students that in turn would contribute to national development.

Implementation of the new policies

He said: “The government takes note of the emergency situation in our education system, with special reference to the shortage of qualified and dedicated teachers to improve the quality of teaching and learning at all levels of our education system.

“To address these challenges and put our country on the path of industrialization where our educational system will produce the necessary skills and manpower, I have approved the following: The reintroduction of scholarships for education students in universities and colleges of education, with automatic employment guarantee upon graduation.

“The payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students, as well as the automatic award of a job after graduation, is now a government policy.

“The Tertiary Education Fund, TETFUND, will now finance teaching practice in universities and colleges of education, a special salary scale for teachers in basic and secondary schools, including provisions for the rural employment allowance, the allowance for teachers of science and special assignment.

“Special pension plan for teachers to allow the teaching profession to retain its experienced talent and extend the retirement age of teachers to 65 and years of service of teachers to 40, create a career path policy for the teaching profession in Nigeria and a teacher conversion and ICT training program to mitigate the current shortage of qualified teachers in the school system ”.

More incentives

President Buhari also approved the following incentives to motivate and restore the lost glory of teachers.

“These include building low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas, sponsoring teachers for at least one refresher training per year, expanding the annual presidential school and teacher awards to cover more categories, with outstanding winners for be considered for national awards and national awards Productivity Order of Merit, NPOM, awards.

Others are the timely payment of salaries and other duties, including consideration of the front-line position in annual budgets, timely promotion of teachers to eliminate deadlock, provision of loan services, free tuition, and automatic admission. for the biological children of the teachers in their respective schools to encourage and retain them in the system.

“The Minister of Education is directed to ensure an accelerated implementation of these policies and measures in collaboration / liaison with state / local governments, the Office of the Chief of Civil Service of the Federation, the National Commission of Salaries, Income and Salaries and others relevant agencies in the system to enthrone a culture of competence, discipline, dedication, better learning outcomes and better service delivery in the education sector in Nigeria. “

Currently, NCE holders earn between N54,000 and N60,000, while holders of a college degree earn between N54,000 and N70,000.

Additionally, the starting point for those in service will be the 10th grade level, rather than an NCE holder entering the 7th grade level and a degree holder entering the 8th grade level. benefit is not for all participants, but only for those who have been certified and registered by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, they can be part of the new pay scale.

It’s been 15 years of turmoil, NUT

Speaking on development, NUT National Treasurer According to Raheem said the two policy statements on the Teacher Salary Scale and the retirement age of teachers by the president came after nearly two decades of turmoil. by his union and other lovers of teachers and education in the country.

“The turmoil started more than 15 years ago. The issue of the retirement age of teachers should have been implemented when the new retirement age of judges and university professors was approved.

“What the president probably worked on was on a private members bill that the last National Assembly passed, but that former chief of staff, Abba Kyari, was unable to present to the president for assent until his death. Teachers are leaving the classroom and the new policies would serve as an incentive.

“Teaching is a profession and it has been through a lot in the country. Furthermore, Law 31 of 1993 which established the Nigerian Teacher Registration Council has also confirmed this. professionals are classified as providers of special services and are paid as such.

“For example, a doctor joins civil service at the 12th grade level and it won’t take that person long to reach the top of their career.

“In the civil service, we have three categories of salary scales, namely, health, civil service, and teachers. The new salary structure would help attract the best brains to teaching. Teaching should not be seen as a profession to never do well.

“When people say that a teacher’s reward is in heaven, what happens if the teacher doesn’t make it? Let the teachers enjoy their rewards here and they will all be fixed when they get to heaven, ”he said.

Also speaking on the subject, Comrade Mike Ene, NUT general secretary, said that he would not know if it was what the union proposed that was approved by the president, adding that the union would later meet with the relevant authorities to learn the situation. true situation of things.

Kano to Critically Study Politics — Commissioner

In reaction to the federal government’s statement, the Kano state government said it would critically analyze the issue before taking a position.

Education Commissioner Muhammad Sanusi Kiru said by phone last night: “We will look critically at the state level before taking a position on the federal government’s approval of the special salary and 35-40 year retirement for teachers.” Kiru said.

Kogi’ll study the action – Government

For its part, the Kogi state government said it would evaluate the new pay scale and other benefits approved for teachers across the country before taking the necessary steps. However, Information and Communication Commissioner Mr. Kingsley Fanwo said that the state, while in no rush to analyze development, will present the best options for teachers, emphasizing that the current administration has always prioritized the welfare of the teachers.

We will analyze the new retirement age and the salary scale: Delta

The state of Deltas not only praised the federal government’s approval of the 40-year retirement age and the approval of a special pay scale for elementary and middle school teachers in the country, but also promised to investigate it.

Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education Chief Patrick Ukah said: “I cannot say with authority that the Delta state government will take care of it.

“We still have to know the details. Once we get the details, we will present it to the state government for their consideration, but I can tell you that it is a welcome development. “

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, meanwhile, praised Nigerian teachers for their role in nation-building as they joined their counterparts in celebrating World Teachers’ Day 2020 yesterday.

Okowa, in a statement from its chief press secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, said that teachers were the foundation of any nation’s development, adding that no other profession could metamorphose without the input of teachers.

He commended Delta teachers for their commitment to teaching and learning in all public and private schools in the state, and stated that his administration placed great value on the well-being of teachers and other public service workers.

Okowa said: “It is a great pleasure for me to celebrate with the teachers in Nigeria and particularly in Delta as they join their counterparts from around the world to mark World Teachers’ Day 2020.

“I am grateful to the Delta teachers for their contributions to nation building and the intellectual development of our children. As an administration, we place a very high value on the well-being of teachers and other workers in the state, hence the regular payment of their salaries when due.

“We have also made sure to improve the teaching and learning environment for our teachers and students by providing the necessary infrastructure and materials.

“Because of these efforts we have made to rejuvenate our public schools, our people now have confidence in sponsoring public schools in Delta. As you celebrate this day, I congratulate all of our dear teachers and look forward to a more rewarding engagement between the government and teachers at Delta. “

Edo will do better than FG – Government

The Edo state government, for its part, said it would comply with any directive that improves the situation for teachers in the state as directed by the federal government.

The Education Commissioner, Mr. Jimoh Igiegbai, while reacting to the approval of special salaries for teachers and the increase of their retirement age from 35 to 40 years, said: “We will do better than the Federal Government. We have set the pace with our Edobest program.

“We will continue to provide more incentives to our teachers. Edo State will comply with any federal government directive regarding the welfare of our teachers. “

Ondo praises FG

Although the state of Ondo did not state what it would do with the new federal government policy, it nevertheless saluted it.

Speaking to last night, Information and Guidance Commissioner Donald Ojogo said: “Anything that enhances the well-being of our most revered teachers is greatly appreciated as long as the enabling template and environment are in place along with the commendable measure of President. ”

FG cannot dictate teacher pay scale to states: Lagos source

Reacting to Buhari’s approval of a special salary scale for teachers, a Lagos state government official who preferred anonymity said the federal government cannot really dictate to states what salary scale to pay teachers.

The source said: “You know that the Federal Government has its own employees, teachers. However, it is a positive development. I think the president is directing approval to teachers in federal government employment.

“It is not a decree that will be binding on all states.” This is democracy. Additionally, Lagos is already paying handsomely for its teachers in public schools. Some private schools even pay above the pay scale.

“In the meantime, the Lagos state government will come out with its position at the appropriate time.”

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