By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Government has expressed concern over the high number of teachers leaving the nation’s teaching profession for other jobs.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, made this known during a visit to housemates of Teachers Naija Reality Tv Show on Wednesday in Abuja.
Nwajiuba, who described teaching as the base of human development, commended the organisers of the Teachers Naija Reality TV show, saying the programme would attract more people to the teaching profession.
He said that the number of housemates in the show, though small, still represented the divergent interest in the teaching profession.
His words : “This very minimum in terms of the percentage, when you look at the nearly 2.2 million teachers in Nigeria. This is a really small representation of the variety of teachers we have but we think if we can encourage these persons to make the teaching profession look good, it will help us to attract better persons because we are also hemorrhaging teachers.
“We are losing teachers because as soon as they get an opportunity, they tend to take off and we want teachers to stay, because we are all products of teachers.”
While assuring Federal Government support for the TV show to attract private sponsors, the minister said the government was handicapped in financially assisting the programme as it is outside the purview of the public sector.
He said the government has rolled out several policies to make the teaching profession attractive, including a mass housing scheme promised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The plan for mass housing is still on, I am still pushing with all the state governors, we have written them, myself and NUT, we have gotten responses from Niger, we have got responses in Cross River,” he said.
Speaking further, Nwajiuba said teachers would continue to reap their rewards both in earth and heaven.
“I have often told teachers repeatedly that the teachers’ reward is in heaven. What is here is their wages. There is a difference between wages and rewards.
“People miss up wages with reward. Teachers must be paid here in wages but teaching is not actually a profession, it is an impaction, a teacher is not limited to only the person in the classroom, a mother who takes you from sucking, and weaned you, take you to a diaper change, you can quantify that and no wages for that, ” the minister said.
On his part, the convener of the show, Enuagwuna Ubaka, expressed delight over the encouragement and feedback being received on the programme both at home and abroad.
He, however, called for more support and sponsorship to boost the reality TV show, saying several activities have been introduced to the show to attract more Nigerians.
“In this second edition, we have 20 housemates and the crew. We need more sponsorship, we are bringing a lot of variety to make more people engage in the show,” he said.
Recall that the second edition of Teachers Naija, kicked off on August 3 with 20 housemates.
The reality show, an initiative of Anub Media Limited, had its first season in 2019 where the winner, first and second runner-up went home with N1.5 million, N1 million, and N500,000 respectively.
This year’s season, the winner is expected to get a 2-bedroom flat in Abuja and go home with N2 million, while the first and the second runner up will get N1.5 million and N1 million respectively.