President Muhammadu Buhari has called on teachers in the country to be positive change agents in the growth, development and well-being of the students and nation.
Buhari made the call on Friday at the 2018 World Teachers Day in Abuja with theme, “The right to education means the right to qualified teacher,represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
Buhari said that Nigerian children were pillars of strength as well as drivers of economic growth, hence the need for teachers to be positive influence to the students could not be overemphasised.
He said despite that teaching profession was faced with various challenge such as low wages, low self esteem and lack of professional and in-service training, government was committed to the course of teaching profession.
According to him, frantic efforts are being made to improve teacher education for skills acquisition, through teachers continued professional development.
“ Having ascertained that education is a right, teachers have important role to play to adequately prepare the young for their roles in the society, in order to achieve the set national objectives.
“ You will agree with me that a qualified teacher is crucial in the educational system, that is why it is important to ensure every teacher is academically and professionally qualified.
“In many countries, the quality of education has been eroded due to acute shortage of trained and qualified teachers.’’
Buhari noted that to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDG4) by 2030, the Federal Ministry of Education had developed a Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) Education for Change (2016 to 2019).
He added that the plan was a roadmap to guide its efforts toward effective implementation and the achievement of the SDG4 and other related education targets of the SDG agenda.
He, therefore, called for the professionalisation of teachers while urging teachers to obtain their professional license from the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) as the deadline is December 2019.
Earlier, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, noted that research findings had consistently shown that the most important factor that influenced students` learning outcomes was the presence of the teacher.
Adamu said the effectiveness of the teacher in their commitment to the teaching profession was key to the development of a child.
He said the ministry had developed the strategy with respect to teacher education, capacity building and professional development.
The minister also said that the ministry was also working toward improving the capacity of teachers, attracting the best brains to the profession and providing the nation with the required skilled human capital.
Adamu called on all teachers to work with the government at all levels to move education forward.
Also, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Sonny Echono, said the present administration had been encouraging and reward good behaviour and contributions to nation building in the teaching profession.
He said school administrators and schools, at basic and secondary levels under the President’s Teachers and School Excellence Award, had been recognised for their effective performances.
The 2018 World Teachers’ Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 which recognises education as a key fundamental right.
Highlights of the event were the presentation of award to the overall best teacher, Mr Adaramola Femi- Patrick of Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, Ogun, who went home with a Sonata car.
Also, the overall best school administrator went to Mrs Grace Ezenwa of Anambra, while Doherty Memorial Grammar School, Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti state got a bus as the overall best school.