The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has revealed that Nigerian teachers are in for a positive surprise.
According to him, Nigerian teachers will begin to enjoy the new salary structure promised by President Muhammadu Buhari from January 2022.
Mr Nwajiuba made the disclosure on Thursday, in Abuja at a symposium organised by the Ministry of Education.
The symposium is part of activities to mark the forthcoming 2021 World Teachers Day with the theme “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery”.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sonny Echono, disclosed work was also being concluded on other incentives promised by the president during the 2020 World Teachers’ Day.
He stressed that the other incentives ranged from allowances, housing, training, to elongated of service year from 35 to 40.
“The President has approved the enhanced salary structure and we will finish it very soon.
“The president specifically approved that it should take effect from 2022.
“We are doing all to finish it to ensure that by January 2022, teachers should get the remuneration they deserve.
“We are fast tracking the process of implementation to see that by the end of year we will be able to tell Mr President that all the incentives he has approved are ready for implementation, ” he said.
He further said, ”the President has taken the lead by approving a far reaching and revitalising programme for the teaching profession in this country and there are many soft incentives in that.
“All that is required is for other actors down the line like state governors, the National Assembly and others to key into this initiative and ensure that the implementation is seamless.
“For instance, we are tired of hearing how long teachers are being owed salaries in states.
“It is criminal. So, with the new initiative, we have incentives to attract the best brains and retain them in the teaching profession.
“All welfare issues including housing, training and retraining, enhanced remuneration, allowances are being taken care of,” he said.
He commended Nigerian teachers for the sacrifice in spite of the many challenges faced in the course of their duties.
He urged them to retune themselves to fit into the new normal occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic by being more technology savvy.
Josiah Ajiboye, the Guest Speaker at the event, said the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed world education system, with African countries most hit.
Mr Ajiboye, who is the Registrar and Chief Executive of Teachers Registration Council (TRCN), said every country of the world was affected by the pandemic.
He, however, said while some continents were able to quickly adjust to the new normal, African countries including Nigeria found it difficult to adjust to a technology base learning.
He said, “our problem in Africa was compounded as only one third had access to internet facilities.
“In Nigeria, about 62 per cent of the population have access internet facility.
“Unfortunately about 97 per cent of the number are in the urban areas, creating huge digital divide between the urban and rural areas.
“We know that government tried helping to bridge the gap by engaging the media especially radio for those in the rural areas but not much was achieved with that.”
He said the new normal of use of Information Communication Technology(ICT) for teaching and learning had come to stay and the Nigerian teachers could not afford to be left behind.
He encouraged teachers to take up ICT trainings in order to be relevant in the 21st century, adding that the role of the teacher was gravitating more towards that of a facilitator.
Mr Ajiboye also assured that the TRCN would continue to play its role in developing a career path for Nigerian teachers among other things.