President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration is working out more incentives to retain young graduates who are teaching in public schools in rural communities.
Buhari said that his administration would provide policies that will create allowances and annual retention benefits for teachers in order to attract and retain them in rural communities.
The president disclosed these during the 2019 World Teachers Day celebration in Abuja with the theme, “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.”
Buhari, who was represented by Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami said that the Federal Government will initiate more collaboration with state governments with a view to training and retraining teachers in order to enhance their capacities for effective service delivery.
He noted that the role of teachers in impacting knowledge for human capital development which is a prerequisite for the growth and development of Nigeria could not be underscored.
Buhari said the contribution of education to the attainment of each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was extensively discussed at the just concluded United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.
The President said: “Teachers are one of the most influential and powerful forces for equity, access and quality in education, this administration places much emphasis on human capital development.
“We shall give more attention to training and retraining of teachers’ in order to enhance their capacities for effective service delivery.
“The federal government shall collaborate with state governments with a view to providing incentives to teachers, especially in rural areas with a view to encouraging young talents to the teaching profession.”
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in his remarks, said that the federal government was taking necessary steps to implement the country’s commitment on the endorsement of Safe Schools Declaration and protection of students, teachers and schools from armed attacks.
Adamu, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said that the present administration was focused on overhauling of schools, committed to educating every child and using education as a model for economic development.
“Over the years , educational institutions have become targets ranging from kidnappings ,killings ,arson,vandalism and hooliganism , we are taking financial ,political, and pragmatic steps to implement the committments made through the endorsement for the protection of students ,teachers and schools from armed attack and military use,” Adamu said.
The National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Muhammed Idris called on President Buhari to assent to the Bill for the review of the retirement age of teachers and education officers from 60 to 65years.
Idris also called for a special salary structure for teachers, noting that it would address the peculiarities of the teaching profession and give the profession a true identity and status.
“The demand for upward review of the retirement age of Teachers is age long,we look forward with great expectations that the President will not hesitate to sign it into law ,as an extension of the good gesture of the Federal government to teachers of primary and secondary schools as it was done to their colleagues at the Tertiary level in the past.
“We hereby make submission that the proposal for a uniform Teachers Salary Structure TSS, for all professional teachers in the country be given due attention and consideration,” he said.
The 2019 President’s Teachers’ and Schools Excellence Award for (public category) was won by Elusakin Agnes Iyabo, and was gifted a Hyundai Sonata.
Meanwhile, Onwuadi Ifeoma, won Best School Administrator, with Hyundai Elentra , Adebiyi Abiola Temitayo, best teacher (private category) Hyundai Accent.
Also, Flora Azikiwe of Model Comprehensive Secondary School, won the Best School (public category) 18 seater bus donated by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board while Pearlville School, Avu Owerri, won best school (private category) and went home with Foton 15 seater bus.