Buhari: Federal Government To Employ More Qualified Teachers
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will employ more qualified teachers in a bid to increase the teacher-to-pupil ratio in the country.
Buhari said this on Tuesday while receiving the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) led by its National President, Comrade Nasir Idris, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the president, his administration has leveraged schemes such as the N-Power Teach Volunteers scheme under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) to address the deficit of teachers in the country.
‘‘We have created a dedicated platform under the National Social Investment Programme called N-Power Teach, which engages qualified graduates to man the gaps of basic education delivery in Nigeria,” said Buhari.
‘‘These N-Power Teach Volunteers are deployed as teacher assistants in primary schools across Nigeria to support existing teachers.
‘‘The aim of this, and many other Government programmes, is to increase the teacher-student ratio at the primary school level thereby enhancing the quality of students moving to secondary schools.
‘‘I want to take this opportunity to ask all members of Nigeria Union of Teachers to support these programmes and encourage as many qualified and willing graduates to enrol in the teaching profession.’’
The president described the teaching profession as one of the noblest of professions, saying ‘‘It shapes the character, calibre and future of individuals and nations. You and I were all taught by teachers who moulded our persons and influenced our future. No price is too high for good rewards.’
‘‘Today, we live in a dynamic world where science and technology drives innovations that virtually touch every aspect of our lives.
‘‘The foundations of today’s changes can be attributed to teachers who, decades ago, in one way or another, shaped the minds of young men and women who eventually grew to become global innovators and inventors from whose works we are benefiting today.
‘‘Nigerians, both at home and abroad, are part of this global breed of impactful change agents.
‘‘Almost everyday, Nigerians are inventing new products or improving existing ones. It is, therefore, our collective duty to continue to encourage and cultivate these minds, by increasing resources available for research and development and improving work environment,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Idris commended the Buhari administration’s numerous strides in the education sector.
He listed such strides as the, ‘‘Gigantic gains in the anti-corruption crusade, technical defeat of Boko Haram terrorists in the North East, restoration of teaching and learning in the schools of the North-East geo-political zone that were affected by insurgency, securing the release of Dapchi schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.’’
Idris further commended the federal government for sustaining the National School Feeding Programme and the establishment of the National Secondary Schools Commission to regulate secondary education.
He seized the opportunity of the meeting to present some pressing challenges of the teachers to the president, while also appealing to Buhari to assent to the Bill on Teachers Retirement Age, and the Teachers Special Salary Structure (TSSS), among others.
He said if the bill is signed into law, Teachers Retirement Age will improve teacher-to-pupil ratio in the country, improve teachers retention rate in public primary and secondary schools and ‘‘revolutionise and strengthen the profession for the wellbeing of the nation’s schools’’