By Daniel Ayantoye
Following the celebration of World Teachers’ Day nationwide, on Thursday, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kwara State chapter has called on the state government to caution its Quality Assurance Bureau (QAB) to stop intimidating teachers while carrying out their duties.
They maintained that the body should rather advice teachers found wanting and not victimise them.
The state chairman of NUT, Comrade Musa Abubakar, in his address on the occasion of the 2017 Teachers’ Day celebration in Ilorin said that the role of teachers is relevant in the society to be ridiculed by anyone.
Speaking, Abubakar said, “The theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Teaching in freedom, empowering teachers’ is not only contemporary but apt as new trend and challenges are emerging in the management of education. There is need for teachers to operate in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility without any form of intimidation or molestation whatever.
“Teachers need to be empowered through training, adequate remuneration and other rewards. Therefore our quality control officers should recognise the rights and privilege of teachers when discharging their duties. The era of intimidation and oppression of teachers under the guise of supervision and monitoring can no longer be tolerated.”
While appreciating the regular payment of Senior Secondary School teachers’ salaries, the NUT boss urged the state government to clear the three months salaries owed Primary and Junior Secondary School teachers.
He also emphasised the need for the state government to elevate teachers to level 17 once due for such promotion, adding that such category of teachers should also be considered for the position of permanent secretaries.
Speaking on the employment of 4,500 teachers as approved by the state government, Abubakar called for transparency and a selection process devoid of politics and sentiment.
While appealing to teachers to focus on their duties for efficiency, he appealed for special allowance to teachers posted to rural areas.
Speaking earlier, the NUT President, Com Michael Alogba, who was represented by Com. Akin Ade Ojo, the Principal Secretary of the body, said handing over the affairs of primary education to local government as provided by the autonomy portends great danger to the sector.
According to him, local government council does not have the financial capacity and political will to manage primary education in the country.
Speaking further, he called for an increase in retirement age of teachers to 65 years, so that the old hands can impact positively on young teachers.
Speaking, the Kwara State Head of Service, Mrs Susan Dupe Oluwole, who represented the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, assured teachers of better days ahead.
“Recognising the importance of teachers in the development of the education sector, my administration places premium on the welfare of teachers and in this regard, the Kwara State Government has continued to prioritise prompt payment of teachers’ salaries especially at the senior secondary school level.
“We all recorgnise that for meaningful learning to occur, it has to be carried out in a conducive atmosphere, therefore we have conducted a summary of all schools in the state and we are set to begin the rehabilitation of an initial 30 secondary schools per senatorial district to bring them to global standard in terms of facilities and quality of teaching.”
While congratulating teachers in the state, Ahmed urged them to ensure quality service delivery.