By Jude Opara
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu on Thursday revealed that the Buhari administration favours the jacking up of the retirement age of teachers from 60 years to 65 years.
He said this is a means of halting the drift of the standard of basic and secondary education in the country.
Adamu stated this at a public hearing on the need to excuse teachers from the retirement age for public servants organized by the House joint Committee on Basic Education and Public Service.
The Minister also informed the House joint committee that the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) had already submitted the new retirement age proposal to the ministry which necessitated the approval of the National Assembly.
He further argued that the drive was based on the need for better performance by teachers as well as the desire to have quality teachers in the country like what is obtainable in some other countries.
“Nigerian teachers to some extent require a reasonable retirement age like their counterparts in India, Canada, Belgium that have increased the retirement age for teachers to 65 years.
“We are appealing to the House to approve the bill because the ministry is in support of increasing the retirement age of teachers,” the minister added.
In his contribution, Chairman House Committee on Basic Education, Zakari Mohammed said that the bill aims at absolving teachers from the public service rule which sets the retirement age for government workers at 60 and put a new retirement age of 65.
He further described teachers as the bedrock of any nation adding that their wealth of experience must be tapped into for the wellbeing of the society.
‘’How long should we tap that knowledge legitimately in the school system, is the question we expect to answer today?” Mohammed said.
Also speaking, Deputy Chairman House Committee on Public Service, Adekoya Adesegun Abdel – Majid identified teachers as professionals who lay the foundation for the growth of any nation.
“The older the teacher, the more caring and tolerant he is to the students with improved dexterity in the pedagogy of teaching required over time,” he added.
The hearing was attended by the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Nigerian Teachers Institute (NTI) and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).