TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA UNION OF TEACHERS (NUT), COMRADE DR. NASIR IDRIS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2019 SOLEMN ASSEMBLY HELD AT THE NATIONAL TEACHERS HOUSE LUGBE, AIRPORT ROAD ABUJA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distinguished comrades and respected Nigerian teachers, ladies and gentlemen. I am highly elated to receive you on the occasion of the 2019 NUT Solemn Assembly, which formally kick started all our official activities and programs lined up for the current  year. As you are all aware the Solemn Assembly was initiated by our great Union inviting Muslim clerics and Christian clergymen to commit our annual plan of actions and activities to the guidance of God, who is omniscient, omnipotent and directs the affairs of all men. We are living witnesses that the benefits have been effectual and tremendous.

In the light of the above, we are divinely set to achieve all that the National leadership of our great Union has purposed in the realization of our vision and mission as the teachers union. This is also in consonance with our sworn determination to canvas and pursue our goal of getting our schools fixed, which is a collective responsibility of all education stakeholders. We can remember the good old days, when we had Asians and other Africans in our schools population. We have a firm conviction that if the teaching profession is optimally regulated, motivated and remunerated through the approval of a professional salary structure, a pride of place would have been accorded to teachers and the profession will be competitive as well as attractive to the best brains in our society. May I assure you that it is only then that the education system will be on its feet once more and set to launch Nigeria to her rightful position in the comity of nations. 

 

EDUCATION STAKEHOLDERS:

Our great Union under my watch and steering ship will in the year ahead strengthen every avenue of cooperation with relevant agencies and education stakeholders, towards the overall advancement and upliftment of teachers' welfare and education quality delivery. As professionals teachers, we will continue to bring to bear our expertise and ever elastic wealth of skills and experiences towards ensuring that the standard of teaching and learning in our nation's schools conform with global education best practices and standards.

 

TEACHERS REGISTRATION COUNCIL OF NIGERIA

The teaching profession in Nigeria deserves to be strengthened and developed in conformity with global trends. It is in this wise, that the NUT had approached the National Assembly during the Public Hearing on the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria bill. We had fervently called that the teaching regulatory body should be conferred with wider powers for the effective regulation of the practice of teaching in Nigeria and make teaching an exclusive reserve for qualified, competent and effective professional teachers. 

 

RETIREMENT AGE FOR TEACHERS

Our great Union is vigilantly keeping watch on the steady progress of the bill on the extension of the retirement age of professional teachers from 60 to 65 years of age. The overall benefits of this well intentioned bill can never be over emphasized, as it will impact tremendous benefits on the education system and not just the teachers. Our Union on behalf of the entire teachers of Nigeria, owe immense gratitude to the Honourable Members of the House of Representatives for their patriotism, foresightedness, diligence, vigorous and sagacious deliberations on the bill, which had scaled through the Third Reading at the Lower House. It is the earnest expectations of the well-meaning teachers, lovers of education and all men and women of good will, that the hallowed Red Chamber will accord this all important bill the accelerated attention and concurrent passage, which it deserves. It is  our ultimate expectations that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces, President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR,  will assent  this bill into an Act of the National Assembly before the forthcoming General Elections or soonest thereafter. 

 

EDUCATION BUDGETARY ALLOCATION

The NUT herewith urge the Federal and State governments to ensure that the policy of giving the education sector a minimum of 15% of the entire annual budget is sustained. In the same vein higher budgetary allocation should be devoted to teacher training and retraining. We also call on the government at all levels to save the teaching and learning of Mathematics, Sciences and ICT in our schools to enable Nigeria catch up with other  countries of the World in the science and technology driven global economy. Our public schools need higher funding and support to galvanize them for higher performance and productivity. 

 

COMMERCIALIZATION OF EDUCATION

The ugly trend where the private sector tends to commercialize education and seek to make it accessible only to the rich and privileged class through exorbitant fees charged in such schools with their local and international collaborators, should be checked and discouraged. The children of all and sundry Nigerians irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the child's parents should enjoy an unhindered access to education as a social right. The Union is of the firm belief that International Donor Agencies should rather channel their education Grants and Aids through the various levels of governments, track and monitor same towards the benefit of the children of the poor whom most are out of school in Nigeria.

 

OUT OF SCHOOL CHILDREN

We therefore call on all faith based institutions, organizations, traditional rulers, opinion molders, Civil Society Organizations and groups, men and women of good will, as well as the press to join hands with the NUT and teachers to redirect the minds of our numerous out of school children back to school, because knowledge creates wealth and the future of Nigeria as a nation is embedded in our younger generations.

 

RECRUITMENT OF TEACHERS

The NUT is worried over the rate at which teachers in government schools retire annually, without a commensurate recruitment to fill the vacancies created, in spite of the continuous growth of school enrollment in most states of the federation. This has led to over bearing class sizes in our schools. There is an urgent need to recruit more teachers into our schools on a permanent basis as against the N-Power teaching program, which does not render the desired benefits and should be discontinued.

 

2019 GENERAL ELECTION

Ladies and Gentlemen, our country is at the verge of General Elections. The Union therefore, urge Nigerian teachers, men and women of voting age to ensure that they participate in the election processes by discharging their civic obligations of voting for candidates of their choice and ensure that the process is free and fair to the best of their ability. We all have a duty of encouraging the further development of our nascent democracy. We must be aware that we are worthy of any government that we enthrone by the instrumentality of our votes. May we all continue to play our part in building the Nigerian nation. Let your votes count and be counted. God bless Nigeria

 

Long Live the Nigeria Union of Teachers

Long Live

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria 

Long Live .

 

 

 

 

 

Comrade Dr. Nasir . Idris.

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