Mariam Sanni, Abuja
Due of the alarming increase of the numbers of out of school children, the President of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Nasiru Idris has revealed that Nigeria needs additional 400,000 qualified teachers to teach the out of school children.
The available statistics has indicated that currently, the population of out of school children in the World is estimated at 264 million, out of which about 60million are in the Sub- Saharan African , while Nigeria domiciles more than 13.5million.
According to the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, the numbers of out of school children has increased from 10.5 million to 13.5million
Speaking at the Event in marking the 2018 World Teachers’ Day, held in Abuja, Idris has called on government at all levels to ensure massive recruitment of qualified teachers.
He added that government needs to put more efforts in providing quality and standard public education that would be affordable to Nigerian Children.
‘’Nigeria alone needs additional 400, 000 qualified teachers to teach these out of school children. On this day we call on the Federal, State and Local Government in Nigeria to ensure massive recruitment of qualified teachers and to redouble their efforts in the provision of quality public education that would be affordable and accessible to every Nigerian child- boy or girl.
‘’We also call on relevant International Development Partners to invest more in public schools where the children of the masses can be reached, instead of the private schools that are established with the motive of making profit,’’ he said.
The NUT boss stressed that Education is a right and not a privilege, noting that government should be willing to carry out their fundamental responsibility to safeguard the citizens’ right to education by providing a quality public funded education.
He noted the pivotal role teachers paly in the education system, saying that right to education cannot be realized without trained and qualified teachers.
He advocated for the review of the retirement age of primary and secondary teachers from 60-65 years and service period from 35-40 years.
Idris explained that it will not only help in addressing the issue of teachers shortage but also the school system will benefit immensely from the wealth of experience garnered by these category of teachers over the years.
He called on the federal government to approve the payment of the 27.5% Teachers Enhancement Allowance to teachers in the Unity Schools and other Federal Government Schools.
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, who was able represented by the Secretary General of the Federation, Boss Mustapha explained that the federal government has put on a strategic plan to address the out of school children , teacher education , capacity building and professional development among others.
Speaking on the out of schools children and numbers of teachers needed, he said that the assumption is premised on the grounds that a good number of the already employed teachers are trained and qualified.
He reiterated that Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria(TRCN) has directed that who want to take up career in teaching and any uncertified teaching in the school system to obtain professional certificates and license from the council as a condition for either being employed or retained as professional teachers.
Buhari added that the policy will become fully implemented by 2019.
He commended teachers for their selfless services and dynamic support to the present administration.
Earlier, the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu has stressed that the federal government in pursuit of its commitment to quality education, provision of qualified teachers, teacher empowerment and the ideal of excellence service, instituted the President’s Teachers and School Excellence Award.
He explained that the objective is to confer excellence award on deserving teachers, school administrators and schools in the public education institutions below tertiary level nationwide.