- By Okoroji Chidiebere A.
…Bruise on Society
We’ve witnessed the spike in the virus but yet to talk about the impact it has created on the lives of private schools’ teachers in our nation.
Those teachers who hasn’t been paid are suffering and begging for food and support. This is shameful, for a profession as dignifying as such. We’ve failed our society, and brought more shame on it.
Since 1999, Nigeria Government have no direction whatsoever in the dealings and methods of private schools aside collecting tax and assuring they meet up with teaching standards. No one has taking their time to look into the employment of teachers in the sector.
None has bothered to debate, over the years, about private teachers welfare. This is shameful, and dangerous, as it will further create another menace in the teaching profession, psychologically, emotionally and financially. Prospects students will have to think twice before taking up a course in teaching. The teaching community in Nigeria is toxic and discouraging and Government must act and get involve now.
The National Policy on Education needs to be reviewed to accommodate the lingering crisis and challenges in the sectors, this, directly to teachers welfare which includes, improve salary scheme for both private and public sector, establishments of private schools and it’s requirements, Qualifications for Employment, Improve Welfare Packages of Teachers both in Public and in Private (Hazard allowances, Bonuses etc), Availability of learning tools and Conducive environment etc.
We must make this profession worthwhile for us to produce the best brains that can compete in the global environment. We must improve and ensure a more attractive wages for our teachers and ensure that their wages are paid even in crisis like this.
Government must with immediate effect, establish Teacher’s Welfare fund (TWF) to guarantee that teachers during emergencies, can be able to access this fund to help them during emergencies or crisis. Teaching profession is a noble one, Government of Nigeria must sustain this profession no matter what. Let’s not shame it as we’ve done with all other sectors.
At this moment of crisis, Public Federal Teachers across the State are being paid salaries even while they are at home, while Private and some state Government has refused to pay their teachers. This is evil, we shouldn’t tolerate and accept this torture. It’s inhumane treatment and it will further ruin the good image of the profession as many prospects students who will want to go into teaching will be discourage to do so.
Most of these Private and States’ Teachers are begging for food to feed their families. Some won’t be able to go back as their employment must have been terminated. While others won’t be able to cope with the online teaching and so on. These are challenges that came with this virus. It’s nobody’s faults and we shouldn’t condemn this great and tremendous teachers that earn peanuts in most private and public school to this dance of shame. We shouldn’t! We must support and encourage them at this moment.
I appeal to both the federal and state government to help and support these great teachers by establishing Teacher’s Welfare Fund (TWF) to help teachers across the country who are facing problems and challenges (food, rent etc) with fund.
I also appeal to private sector who, during the early stages of the Pandemic supported the federal and state government to do same for teachers.
There’s no ‘Dignity or Integrity’ when it comes to hunger, we are all monsters seeking who or how to devour. This Coronavirus has exposed the vulnerability of private and state public schools’ teachers to emergencies and crisis like this one; We can’t watch them die, the economy is hard on us all, but some are surviving it others aren’t.
Teachers aren’t! We must look into this as it is now a school crisis problem. Government need to critically get involve and build up a policy on employment and welfare packages for private schools and teachers, very important; So that, situations like this, they can be a way out.
When hunger strikes, the only language is “Abeg.”
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