Experts recommend special salary structure for primary and secondary teachers – The Sun Nigeria
Stakeholders in the education sector have called for the adoption of a special salary structure for the teaching profession to make it more attractive and rewarding.
Stakeholders in the South East made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the deplorable conditions of primary schools and low teacher salaries in Nigeria.
They denounced the poor salary structure of teachers, especially in public primary and secondary schools, pointing out that development was affecting productivity in the sector.
They urged governments at all levels to prioritize teacher salaries and welfare at primary and post-primary levels in Nigeria.
In Ebonyi, Mr. Christian Chukwu, a retired secondary school teacher, noted that the monthly salary paid to a teacher remains among the lowest compared to workers in other sectors.
“What a public school teacher in Nigeria receives every month is extremely poor and disproportionate to the time, energy and work he puts into training and educating school children,” Chukwu said.
He recommended an improved salary package for teachers to make their work more attractive and rewarding.
Mr. Friday Elom, former Special Assistant for Primary Education in Ebonyi, highlighted the need for increased budgetary allocation to the education sector.
“First, we don’t prioritize education, hence the low budget allocation to the sector every fiscal year.
“The teaching service should be fully professionalized while practitioners should possess the relevant and required knowledge before they are allowed to practice in Nigeria.
“The idea of making teaching everyone’s business in Nigeria has been the reason for paying low salaries to teachers, but once teaching is fully professionalised, the sector will become regulated.
“Regulation of teaching practice will allow only those with a teaching license to be permitted to teach in public and private schools in Nigeria,” Elom said.
Ms. Lovelyn Ebuka, staff member of Ebonyi Ministry of Education, said that many countries where education service is prioritized have better performance and standards.
“Due to the appropriate remuneration of teachers in countries such as; In Finland, South Africa, Ghana among others, the level of education and learning is higher and many skilled personnel travel to these countries in search of greener pastures,” she said. .
In Imo, actors in the education sector are calling for the overhaul of the primary education sub-sector to improve the quality and standard of the sector.
In her contribution, the owner of Fine Foundation Nursery and Primary Schools, Owerri, Ms. Charity Osuji, said that a complete overhaul of the system was long overdue.
Osuji said that in her 17 years of school management, she had never seen primary schools in such dire condition, noting that in some parts of the country students were sitting on bare floors to to study.
“We can’t afford to pretend that everything is fine; some of our students are sitting on the bare ground, others are standing on flooded assembly grounds, as we saw on social media a while ago.
“This is unacceptable and only a total overhaul of the system can save the situation,” she said.
Also contributing, a retired teacher, Ms. Florence Irediuwa, also advocated an upward revision of the salaries of primary school teachers.
She said it would help improve their attitude to work and reduce possible distractions that come from part-time jobs.
“Some of our teachers are doing part-time jobs to make ends meet and you don’t blame them because they have to put food on the table.
“Thus, an upward revision of their salaries and allowances will go a long way in boosting their morale for optimal production,” she said.
One parent, Mr Sampson Uhuegbu, lamented that primary schools, instead of serving as mainstays of education, are fast becoming “endangered species”.
Uhuegbu urged government at all levels to partner with willing individuals and organizations, such as religious bodies, to revive the subsector.
He noted that the quarterly inspection of schools by state governors should be enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution to serve as a wake-up call for the restructuring of education in the country.
A guidance counselor, Ms Abigail Adams, expressed concern that children were rapidly losing interest in education.
Adams, a mother of three, blamed it on the wave of school dropouts and the prioritization of entertainment and social media over formal education.
She called for a more pragmatic approach to teaching and learning in line with modern methodologies to revive interest in education.
Concerned residents of Enugu State have denounced the deplorable state of primary schools in terms of shortage of classrooms due to surge in enrollment over the past five years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that student overcrowding has been a direct result of population growth, rural-urban migration and inadequate expansion plans for some years now.
A NAN correspondent, who visited public school compounds in Igbariam, Idaw River, WTC, Uwani, Zik Avenue and New Haven, all in metropolitan Enugu, observed that their structures were in good condition with toilets.
However, Mr. Olu Omotayo, Chairman of the Civil Rights Realization and Advancement Network (CRRAN), said that despite the problem of overcrowding, there are very deplorable primary schools in the state, especially when you leave the metropolis of Enugu.
“Outside the structures, primary school teachers and supervisors no longer take their jobs seriously due to low pay, late payment of pensions to retired colleagues and lack of social concern.
“The government should engage stakeholders to suggest ways to improve public primary schools and increase their monthly salary and other entitlements to attract zealous teachers into the system,” Omotayo said.
A worried parent, Ms Chichi Ani, said that apart from the deplorable structures that could be easily fixed, primary schools had been made less attractive by the dismissive way teachers were treated in society.
Ani said, “Before, the respect and recognition given to teachers would certainly make one want to be a teacher or associate with them.
“But today, the opposite is happening; politicians and administrators see teachers as people they can gamble with with their earned payments and even pensions, while denying them their rights for a very long time.
Meanwhile, primary school teachers in Enugu state had embarked on an indefinite strike for nearly two months in Enugu state over the non-enforcement of the 30,000 naira minimum wage.
In response, the State Commissioner for Education, Professor Uchenna Eze, said the government had already met with the leaders of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and would soon begin the process of implementing the new teachers’ salary. primary school teachers.
“The government is putting in place the final modalities to resolve the issue that led to the indefinite strike launched by primary school teachers in the state,” he said.
In Anambra, low job satisfaction among public primary teachers has been blamed on low enrollment in state primary schools.
Some parents and guardians who spoke to NAN in Awka said the lack of primary schools in most new residential areas was also another problem.
Mr Collins Okeke, a resident of Ifite-Awka in Awka, the capital, said there was only one public primary school serving the whole area, so those who wanted to enroll their children and wards couldn’t do it.
Okeke said the problem for locals is largely one of school unavailability.
He called on the Anambra government to establish primary schools in response to the state’s growing population, as the ones that existed were those created by the municipal unions.
He said those living around Government House, GRA and newly developed areas of Ifite-Awka were forced by the existing situation to send their children and wards to private primary schools at huge cost.
Also speaking, Ms. Chinenye Emordi, a secondary school teacher, said there was a need to improve the working conditions of primary school teachers to make them more engaged in their work.
Emordi, who said she had her children in a private primary school, said that apart from salaries, the infrastructure of public primary schools should be improved.
She said many parents did not send their children to public schools because the conditions were not conducive to student learning and comfort.
She called for attention to increase the attractiveness of public primary schools and make them the best destinations for parents.
Efforts to get feedback from the government failed as calls and messages to Professor Ngozi Udeh, Education Commissioner at Anambra, went unanswered.
However, NAN reports that the federal government announced in 2020 that teachers would start benefiting from the new salary structure promised by President Muhammadu Buhari from January 2022.
Former Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba made the revelation on World Teachers Day 2021 saying that work was being completed on the improved salary structure.
Nwajiuba, represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Sonny Echono, listed other incentives to include stipends, housing, training and extending the year of service from 35 to 40 years. (www request MNA NAN)