By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government says one teacher from each of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country will smile home with an award in the forthcoming World Teachers Day (WTD) celebration.
The WTD which will take place on 5th October, 2020, will also see several schools awarded prizes under the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award (PT&SEA).
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, told newsmen in Abuja that this year’s unique awards that cut across the country, are geared toward promoting excellence among the teachers.
Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Adamu
said that the 2020 WTD theme: ‘Teachers: Learning in Crisis, Reimagining the Future’, highlighted the imminent challenges affecting teachers.
He said: “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 the 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.”
Also speaking, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Dr Nasir Idris, called for regular training 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, upward review of teachers’ retirement age, among other demands.
“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).’’