President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration recognises the various constraints faced by teachers and the teaching profession in the country, pledging that government would step up measures to alleviate their problems.
President Jonathan stated this as members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), joined in the global cerebration of the World Teachers Day at the Eagle Square at the weekend.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Education Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai underscored the role of teachers in the development of the nation, stressing that it would sustain the award as mark of recognition for their outstanding role.
He said, “Government is aware of the many challenges and issues confronting teachers in the discharge of your important duties. We will do all we can to enable you perform your roles with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
“Specifically, this administration is currently addressing the issues of training and development as well as teachers’ welfare knowing fully well that the educational system is only as good as the quality of its teachers”.
But teachers on their part raised alarm over the dilapidated structures and falling infrastructures in schools across all tiers of government in the country.
The NUT President, Comrade Micheal Alogba lamented the deteriorated state of primary and secondary schools at local government, state and federal government levels, regretting the bedraggled condition of the schools and its negative contribution to the performance of students across the nation.
According to him, “we wish to use this auspicious day to remind the government of Nigeria on all the tiers that our schools are still largely dilapidated and are unsuitable for learning”
“Students do well when they study in a conducive environment. It is a conducive environment that makes a teacher to perform at his optimum”.
He said despite the state of disrepair in which most of the country’s schools are in, teachers are currently the lowest ranked professionals that enjoy good salary structure.
Comrade said teachers are among the lowest paid professionals, in most countries of the world hence they are so down trodden and unappreciated.
“It is a cryptic but painful admission that the condition of teachers has not changed significantly compared with other professionals.
“No nation grows above the level of her education and no educational enterprise has outgrown the status of teachers. The nation must convene a solemn assembly and supplicate to God while confessing and repenting of her sin against her builders- teachers,” he stated.