By Nathaniel Oye,PhD
The teaching profession is one of the least respected professions in Nigeria today as it is the case in most developing countries of the world. Teachers from all ramifications are the builder of a nation hence they educate the youth that will later sustain the growth of the nation. This important role which the teachers play is not adequately compensated to the public primary school teachers in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, remunerations are not regularly paid to teachers as their counterparts in other employments. This usually leads to incessant strikes in the school system. Currently some states have not paid primary school teachers’ salary up to five months. It is true that there is no strike, but there is no meaningful teaching going on in the public primary schools affected. From the look of things the state and the local governments are struggling with the issue of payment of salaries (not to talk of leave grants). This article is suggesting that the Buhari Change Administration should take over the issue of teachers’ salaries and leave grants. In other words salaries and leave grants should be deducted from the state and local government votes and to be kept in salary data bank in the CBN of each state headquarters. The Bursary section of each state should submit vouchers comprising names and account numbers of legitimate teachers to be pay via E-Payment directly into their accounts from the salary data bank.
Government should implement the National Minimum wage along robust allowances for
primary school teachers such that their salary becomes competitive with other international
or multinational workers. This may boost their morale and ego, making them more
conscientious at work. It is worthy to note that the most predominant factor affecting teachers productivity and their attitude to work today in our school is the inability of government to pay monthly salary monthly (Leave grants is a forgotten issues).
Therefore, Public Primary school teachers had poor conditions of service and that the society looks down on them and the teaching profession. Teachers ability to perform on the job depends on his willingness to do the job if he is adequately motivated through better’ remuneration. We strongly believe that the Buhari Change administration is able to bring a drastic change on this issue as the paper suggests the way forward.
Management experts have continued to lay emphasis on the important role motivation plays
in the managerial process, government should therefore learn from this management principle by paying special attention to remuneration of teachers in order to boost their morale and restore their faith in the onerous task of imparting knowledge. Poor remuneration of teachers in the country has turned the teaching profession that used to be the envy of all, to a profession of mockery which youth are now skeptical of going into. Students no longer fancy education as a course.
It is no longer news that Primary School teacher’s welfare is not accorded the deserved attention. Unlike the politicians who do not have negotiation council to negotiate their salary increase. There is no disparity among political office holders from the Federal, State and Local governments and their salaries are increased at astronomical rate any time without recourse to whether the nation’s economy can bear it or not. But for teachers, they must be negotiated. It was realized that the lingering problems of under performance in the secondary and tertiary institutions in the country is traceable to the poor and shaky foundation laid at the primary school level.
THE WAY FORWARD
Get experts that will look into the Laws dealing with the issues of deducting Salaries and Leave Grants from the State and Local government votes.
More logistics to be given to supervisors to supervise the public primary schools effectively