The Nigerian government is working on a proposal to ensure that teachers are paid salaries higher than other workers in Nigeria, so as to attract the best to the teaching profession.
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who gave this hint in Abuja, while inaugurating the Governing Councils of 21 Federal Colleges of Education, said teaching profession has ceased to be an “all-comers affair.”
He also warned that teachers in Nigeria across all levels must register with the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) before the end of this year or risk being sent out of the system.
Representing him, the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, said government had understudied Malaysia, by first taking a critical look at teaching and teacher education.
The Minister emphasized that teachers in Malaysia were paid higher than other workers and that the government of Nigeria felt it was expedient to implement that in Nigeria.
He said: “What did they do? They brought the whole system down and asked, what do you want us to do in education. Their planning was geared towards the development of human resources. In Malaysia, top percent of those who scored the highest in their equivalent of JAMB, compete to be teachers.
If you are a teacher in Malaysia, you are ranked more than any other worker in the country. This is why you will find people with PhDs teaching in primary schools. Teachers are paid higher than any other person in Malaysia and we have made that recommendation and we are going to do that in Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister also decried the dearth of quality teachers Nigeria, saying it was unfortunate that the noble profession had not been able to attract the best and the brightest because of inadequacies in the system.
He insisted that the current administration was ready get right it with the cooperation of all stakeholders.
He added that colleges of education had remained critical institutions, stressing that they did not only produce teachers on which everything else was dependent, they also produced teachers at the basic level of education.
Anwukah reminded members of the Governing Councils of the enormous task ahead of them saying their appointments, though part-time in nature, had come at a time when the country was recovering from recession and that the institutions had been without boards since 2015.
Adamu, challenged the Governing Councils to come with policy direction that would assist in the effort to strengthen the quality of teachers produce by the institutions as well as how to generate funding for their various institutions.
He urged them to avoid friction with the management of the colleges, saying there must be a clear distinction between them, and the powers of the Governing Councils, to facilitate the implementation of those policies.