Buhari Approves New Salary Scale for teachers, Extends Years Of Service
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday excited Nigerian teachers with the announcement of robust policies designed to restore the lost glory of teachers as well as improve the quality of teaching and learning in the country.
He approved a Special Salary Scale for teachers in basic and secondary schools, including provisions for rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance.
The President has also approved the extension of teachers’ retirement age to 65 years and teaching service years to 40, while also announcing tuition-free and automatic admission for biological children of teachers in their respective schools to encourage and retain them in the system.
Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu, announced the policies of special salary scale at the 2020 World Teachers’ Day celebration, held at Eagle Square, Abuja, where he also presented three brand new Hyundai cars and two Hiace buses to Star Prize winners among other awards.
The President has accordingly directed the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu to ensure accelerated implementation of these policies and measures in collaboration with states and local governments, the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, National Salaries, Incomes and Commission and other relevant agencies in the system.
He added that this would enthrone a culture of competence, discipline, dedication, increased learning outcomes and better service delivery in the education sector in Nigeria.
He lamented that the status and stature of teachers in Nigeria were currently at their lowest ebb, stressing that to address these challenges, his administration has undertaken a comprehensive review of its teacher development policy and found huge gaps in both the quantity and quality of teachers at all levels of our educational system.
He said: “Government notes the emergency situation in our educational system with particular reference to the dearth of qualified and dedicated teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at all levels of our education system.
“The emerging knowledge economy and the need to attract and retain the best brains in our educational institutions to ensure our graduates are globally competitive have become more compelling in the current circumstance.
“To address the challenges and set our country on the path of industrialisation where our educational system will produce the needed skills and human capital, I have approved the following:
“That in order to attract the best brains into the teaching profession, the policy of encouraging the best graduates to take up a career in teaching is hereby restored.
“The reintroduction of bursary award to education students in universities and colleges of education with the assurance of automatic employment upon graduation.
“The payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students as well as granting them automatic employment after graduation is now a government policy.
“The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) will now fund teaching practice in universities and colleges of education and enhanced entry point for teachers in the Civil Service by restricting entry into the teaching profession to highly gifted, academically outstanding students/scholars with the right attitudinal and emotional disposition.
“Special Salary Scale for Teachers in Basic and Secondary Schools, including provisions for rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance
“Special Teacher Pension Scheme to enable the Teaching Profession to retain its experienced talents as well as to extend teachers’ retirement age to 65 years and teaching service years to 40.
“Create a Career Path Policy for the Teaching Profession in Nigeria and Speedy Teachers Conversion Programme and ICT Training to mitigate the current dearth of qualified teachers in the school system,” the President said.
Buhari added that in order to motivate and restore the lost glory of teachers in Nigeria, his administration has approved the following incentives; the building of low-cost houses for teachers in rural areas, sponsorship of teachers to at least one refresher training per annum to benchmark best practices for improved teaching and learning.
Others are: “Expansion of the annual Presidential Teachers and Schools Awards to cover more categories and for the outstanding winners to be considered for National Awards and National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Awards.
“Prompt payment of salaries and other entitlements including consideration for the first-line charge in annual budgets and timely promotion of teachers to eliminate stagnation of teachers.
“Provision of loan facilities, example, for agriculture, housing, cars, motorcycle among others, to support teacher’s earnings and free tuition and automatic admission for biological children of teachers in their respective schools to encourage and retain them in the system”.
Buhari said his administration has resolved that the quality of training of teachers, terms of engagement and continuous professional development must be given priority, noting that the future of the Nation would be a function of the quality of education “we deliver to our children today”.
National President of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Dr Nasir Idris, in his remark, expressed dismay that the ₦30,000.00 minimum wage approved for all Nigerian workers since April 2019 is yet to be implemented for teachers in some states and the Federal Capital Territory.
While calling for the implementation of the minimum wage to all teachers in Nigeria without further delay, he reiterated the call on relevant authorities to ensure that the 27.5% professional allowance is paid to teachers of Federal Government-owned schools and colleges.
He commended the Federal Government for the sustenance of the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award which he noted was intended to give hope to teachers and restore the dignity of the teaching profession in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, a 50-year-old teacher, Mr Asubiojo Olaoluwa, from Amoye Grammer School, Ikere, Ekiti State, emerged the overall best teacher in the country and was handed over the cars to Hyundai car at the event among other awardees.