THE 2019 World Teachers’ Day which has just been observed, October 5, 2019, is a yearly event celebrated globally in recognition and honour of the contribution of teachers as key and crucial to education and development generally.
THE Teacher has been seen to play such various roles as a role model, mentor, counselor, book keeper, planner, learning mediator, interpreter and designer of of learning programs and materials, leader, administrator, manager, scholar, researcher, and life-long learner for community and citizenship etc.
HOWEVER, it is very doubtful if Nigeria and the Nigerian governments have in all sincerity really recognized and honoured the teacher in line with the spirit of the international teachers’ day. Perhaps it is safe to rather say that the observance of the teachers’ day in Nigeria is nothing but lip service, and a running with the crowd, which is a clear case of window dressing; as the reality on ground is altogether different.
THE seriousness of a country regarding its education system is known by the percentage of its GDP invested in education. A cursory survey of such allocations reveals that education does not seem to be Nigeria’s priority. What are the incentives for the teachers to boost their efforts? In some states, teachers teaching in primary schools have not benefited from the 18000 naira minimum wage. And now the 30000 that has been unnecessarily delayed by the PMB government, is about to be implemented. What then is the place of the teacher in?
AS no country can rise above the quality of its teachers, Nigerian government’s inconsistency in policy making vis-à-vis policy implementation alongside its boasting to be amongst the most developed country in the world by the year 2020 amounts to building castle in the air. Instead of dealing with emerging crisis at any point in time, the government chooses to introduce one policy after the other.
NIGERIA’S National Policy on Education 2004, which stipulates that all teachers in educational institutions shall be professionally trained and that such educational programme shall be structured to equip teachers for the performance of their duties. Today, such designated institutions charged with the responsibility of teacher training which include Colleges of Education in the polytechnics, National Institute for Nigerian Languages(NINLAN) and the National Mathematics Centre, have not yet been given the needed support to enable them to actualize this dream. In such a state, the failure of government to provide the needed funds could be termed not only a dishonor to the teaching profession, but a conspiracy of negligence of the next generation, which is capable of affecting the nation’s development as a whole.
WE wish to state without mincing words that high standard of education is very crucial to the survival of any nation in the age of globalization; high quality education is that which quickly responds to the needs of changing society and the demands of global realities, which in turn guarantees survival and competitiveness. The modern world that is knowledge driven has no sympathy for the ignorant and the weak; it’s a world of survival of the fittest.