World Teachers Day: Teachers gives kudos, knocks government
By Amos Odhe
Teachers in Bayelsa state joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year World Teachers Day and used the opportunity to applaud the state government for its efforts in revamping the educational standard and equally complained of how teachers have been neglected despite the pivotal roles play by teachers.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of NUT Bayelsa state council , Comrade Richman Raymond Otobo said the World Teachers Day is a global event that holds every 5th day of October annually since 1994 to commemorate the anniversary of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) and International Labour Organization ( ILO ) recommendations concerning the status of teachers, such as the rights ,responsibilities, standards, recruitment and teaching and learning conditions of teachers.
He however, called on the state government to address regular payment of monthly salaries of teachers in both primary and secondary schools in the state, extend the benefits of the state health insurance scheme to include teachers, continuous payment of the 18,000 minimum wage arrears tools both primary and secondary schools in the state.
He also decries non payment of backlog of primary school teachers salary arrears ranging from three to seven months of 2016, non recruitment of teachers in the both primary and secondary schools for the past ten years and non – implementation of promotions already approved by the state government. “It is regrettable to note that thousands of teachers have been retired from the school system over the years without any correspondent recruitment of new teachers to replace the retirees.This issue deserves urgent attention as it portrays danger for the future of Bayelsa children”
In his good will message the National chairman of NUT Dr Nadir Idris, reiterate the importance of the World Teachers Day to humbly request governments at both national and sub- national levels to reflect on the principles and value of the ILO/UNESCO recommendations of 1996 which sets international standards for the teaching profession ,and to adopt and apply them in the development of their educational policies and programs.
The National president who was represented by Clinton Ikpitibo said this years, World Teachers Day , “Teachers at the heart of education recovery ” is apt considering the devastating impact of COVID – 19 on education sector , and its attendant challenges teachers have to face and confront to ensure effective delivery of education to all learners around the world.
” According to UNESCO Institute of statistics (2020), more than 1.5 billion students and 63 million primary and secondary schools teachers were affected by the closure of schools world wide at the peak of the COVID – 19 crisis in 2020.In Nigeria,about 46 million learners were affected by the pandemic ( UNESCO,2020)”
He said this situation expanded the role of the teachers and placed greater burden on them as they were challenged to appreciate the ” new normal ” , embrace the use of technology in education , build their capacities, be reselient ,creative and innovative to be able to meet the new trends and challenges of rapidly changing world.
Others personalities that made their goodwill message at the occasion were the Hon Commissioner for Education , Dr Gentle Emelah who was represented by Biboye Ogola, Executive Secretary Bayelsa state universal basic education, Chief Victor Okubonanabo, the Board chairman Victor Suuny – Igoli, the Executive chairman of Bayelsa post primary schools Board, Chief Millionaire Asangba, NLC chairman John Ndiomu among others.