-By Osita Biose:
Delta State’s schools are currently seriously understaffed .
As Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori steps in today May 29,2023 Delta teachers will continue to appeal to the state government to recruit more teachers so that the job will be more comfortable for those who are still in the system. Efforts have been made in the past to retain them and to also attract new and more competent hands with the approval of sixty five(65) years of age and forty(40) years of service for retirement of teachers
It may not be asking for too much if we say that it is high time we introduced a rural allowance or a salary scale that will take care of those who may be going to rural areas to teach. Teaching should be given a different salary scale as it has earlier been proposed. Effort should be accelerated to bring that to bear so that we can retain more teachers and competent hands for that matter. When that is done, the government will no longer be the one to supervise, rather the NUT will do the supervision to justify the maxim that ‘to whom, much is given, much is expected.’
-Com Titus Okotie ,NUT Chairman
When the teacher is satisfied with the job he or she is doing, they think about the job day in , day out.The teacher who is well remunerated will not be distracted.. We really need to look inwards to motivate the teachers, to empower them to add value to society through effective teaching and learning. Considering the economic situation in the country, today, one cannot but argue the fact that the income can no longer take the teaching staff home.. For instance, take a look at the price of fuel, which has snow-balled into the increase of every other commodity, while the salary has remaimed stagnant.
The last time recruitment was carried out, only 1, 500 teachers were employed to replace the 9,000, which are grossly inadequate. The figure is just like a drop of water in the ocean. Even Governor Okowa was aware of that and having been confronted with the danger this poses for our education system in the state, he made the teachers to understand that part of what is restraining him from recruiting more hands was that he would not want to owe any of his workers, including teachers, any kobo.But shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?
Anything less than 6000 teachers will be inadequate to bridge the gap in the secondary arm alone.
Meanwhile, the situation is worse at the primary level. In some primary schools, there exist only three teachers in the whole school and you wonder how they are coping. It is that bad. We are aware that the allocation to the local government has been very bad lately, but there is the hope though that the coming in of Oborevwoori will make things better. The governor had directed every local government to recruit more teachers, but as of now, no visible attempt has been made. Now that the elections are over the officers there-in need be reminded of the directives again.
Teachers who are degree holders in primary school are in a serious dilemma. What the policy recommends though as minimum qualification for teaching is NCE. On one hand, if that is all you have acquired as a teacher, you will be stagnated in terms of promotion, no matter the number of years you spent in service. So, everybody wants to get to the peak; they go for their University degrees. Hence, the argument is that with such qualifications, they should be moved to the junior schools, while the NCE holders are allowed to remain at the primary level.
On the flip side , I am glad to tell you that Delta State is the 12th state to have actualised that after the retirement bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 8th of April 2022. the NUT quickly put her house in order and approached the head of service, following the necessary protocols, the governor of the state, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as an Establishment matter graciously approved the memo and it became a law on February, 15 2023.This makes it mandatory for teachers to do their job well.
No educational system can grow above the level of its teachers,hence theOborevbori led government should be encouraged to train and retrain teachers,through aggressive drive, within the ambits of international best practices, and in conjunction with the NUT.