By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja -The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, says 774 teachers will benefit from the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award (PT&SEA), as part of World Teachers Day celebration (WTD).
Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, made this known at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday as part of activities to herald the celebration coming up on Oct. 5.
He said that the PT&SEA was geared toward promoting excellence among the teachers.
The minister said that the 2020 WTD theme: “ Teachers: Learning in Crisis, Reimaginning the Future’’, highlighted the imminent challenges affecting teachers in all climes.
Adamu said that the theme reiterated the importance of teachers in nation building and their leadership roles in emergency situations.
“The theme also reiterates the need for nations to rekindle the interest of young people to take up teaching profession by sustaining the services of the extant profession.
“It is in appreciation and recognition of teachers and the quest to motivate them for productivity and quality service delivery that government, through the ministry, instituted the PT&SEA.
“Instruments for the nomination of potential awardees were sent to education ministries in all states and the FCT. Their submissions were backed up with evidence for authenticity.
“ However, only 24 states responded with submissions for the five award categories – Best Public School, Best Approved Private School, Best Public School Teacher, Best Approved Private School Teacher and Best Public School Administrator.
“Each category has three levels that accumulate to a total of 24 awards.
“ Furthermore, 774 best teachers, one from each of the 774 Local Government Areas from which the best teachers were chosen, will also be rewarded to ensure that the process starts to originate from each local government in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Dr Nasir Idris, has called for regular training and sustained professional development of teachers.
Idris, represented by Mr Amba Audu, National Publicity Secretary, NUT, said that there was need for teachers to be provided with conducive environments and adequate support to meet the new trends and demands of the 21st century.
He also called for the approval and implementation of the 27.5 per cent professional allowance for teachers of Federal Government Colleges.
Idris also emphasised the need to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
“ This year’s WTD celebration provides us another opportunity to take stock of developments in the education sector.
“ In this direction, we will not hesitate to encourage the minister to redouble efforts to enhance the welfare of teachers and to achieve desired results in some thorny areas.
“Among these concerns are the upward review of the retirement age of teachers and education officers, establishment of a Teachers’ Salary Structure and other incentives for teachers to address the peculiarities of the teaching career.
“Establishment of the national secondary education commission for proper coordination and effective management of secondary education in the country.
“Implementation of new minimum wage for all teachers, including primary and secondary teachers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).’’
Idris commended the Federal Government for the concerted efforts made in partnership with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders towards combating COVID-19 pandemic.
He also urged the ministry to ensure that both state and non-state providers of education complied strictly with COVID-19 protocols as school reopens.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the WTD commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 International Labour Organisation/UNESCO recommendation concerning the status of teachers.
The day, which was first marked on Oct. 5, 1994, has become an annual event to mark the progress and promotion of the teaching profession.