The Federal Government has said that it will henceforth pay stipends to Bachelor of Education students and grant them automatic employment, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has said.
Adamu, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the commemoration of the World Teachers Day on Monday, said teachers have the power to shape and reshape the lives of young people and help learners to enhance their potentials.
The 2020 theme of the World Teachers’ Day is Teachers: leading in crisis, reimagining the future.
According to the President, “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 to access.”
The President said teachers’ education and continued professional development should be given priority adding that the administration made the approvals in order to attract investment in the teaching profession.
He said, “My administrative has resolved that quality education of teachers in terms of engagement of continued professional development has to be given priority.
“There will be Special Salary Scale for Teachers in Basic and Secondary Schools, including provisions for rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance”.
Other promises include building low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas, sponsorship to at least one refresher training per annum to benchmark best practices for improved teaching and learning and expansion of the annual Presidential Teachers and Schools Awards to cover more categories and for the outstanding.
He said he approved the reintroduction of bursary award to education students in Universities and Colleges of Education with the assurance of automatic employment upon graduation.
“The payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students as well as granting them automatic employment after graduation is now a government policy,” he said.
The Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) will fund teaching practice in Universities and Colleges of Education, he explained.
Similarly, the Minister of State for Education, Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, identified the teaching profession as the greatest profession in the world which must be accorded adequate recognition and respect.
“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,” he said.
According to him, teachers’ 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.”
He said the education ministry through the Teachers Registration Council (TRCN) is making concerted efforts to withdraw unqualified teachers from the classroom nationwide.