A cross section of school principals, teachers and students in the Federal Capital Territory have called for investment in the nation’s education sector to promote effective teaching and learning.
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to mark 2018 World Teachers Day with theme: “Right to education means the right to qualified teacher” in Abuja.
NAN reports that the day, observed annually on Oct. 5 since 1994 seeks to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO recommendation on the status of teachers.
Some said that the call for investment in education had become important because of the need to improve the nation’s education standards in line with international best practices.
Others were of the view that more should be done to overhaul the teaching profession as means to ensure sustainable nation building.
Alhaji Saidu Ahmed, the Principal of Community Staff School in Asokoro (CSSA) in Abuja, underscored the need for teachers to be empowered for their roles in upbringing of children to achieve growth.
According to him, teachers nurture young people who are the leaders of tomorrow, there is therefore the need to invest more in the teaching profession to ensure better teaching service.
Ahmed said “teaching is more of humanitarian service and should be seen as the bedrock of all walks of life in the society.
“If there is proper investment in the education sector schools will do well; if schools are not doing well it will affect every other sector of the economy negatively.
“Every person in any society is a product of schools, therefore investment in education will further help to improve the sector in line with the requirement set by the UN.
“When that is done Nigerians will be able to compete favourably in any institution that they find themselves across the world.”
A Principal in Bwari, who pleaded anonymity, said although the Federal Government had made investment in the nation’s education development, its policy thrust should be done to ensure effective implementation.
According to him, there is still room for improvement to enable both private and public schools at all levels to conform to international standards.
“Such improvement must be in terms of meeting up the national minimum standard for establishment and operation of schools, in terms of physical infrastructure, curriculum, instructional materials and personnel.
“If that is done, it will boost standards and further ensure there is effective teaching and learning in schools,” he said.
Another teacher, Mrs Paul Miriam said that investment in education would enable teachers to know how important they were in any environment that they found themselves.
Miriam, an English Teacher at CSSA, said that such act would encourage teachers to imbibe `can-do’ approach in their work environment and enhance their productivity.
“Even though teachers are not always paid handsomely, such act will help us look out for the end point, which is effective teaching and learning in the classroom,” Miriam said.
Another teacher, Mr Edomin Andrew, defined teachers to be key to human capacity development.
He decried that poor investment in education had affected teachers’ welfare negatively and thereby called for improvement in their welfare packages to reduce their suffering.
Andrew said “teachers are not properly taken care of in Nigeria; teachers must be well paid in commensurate with their rigorous demands of the job.
“Improvement in the welfare of teachers, implementation of good schemes will help them build interest for teaching and encourage young people to begin to see the profession as lucrative.”
A student, Master Ebuka Obitakor, said that teachers should be respected because they played key role in the character molding of tomorrow’s leaders.
Obitakor, an SS2 student, said that he was aspiring to teach Computer Programming later on in life in the bid to contribute his quota to national growth.
Another student, Babsharom Rose, urged governments at all levels to always pay teachers and allowances as at when due to achieve the desired goal.
According to her, government must appreciate teachers by enhancing their remuneration “because whatever we shall become in life, we pass through them at all levels of education.
“Presidents, teachers, doctors, engineers and journalists all passed through the tutelage of teachers,” Obitakor said.