Every country strives towards the provision of quality education for its citizens based on the fact that education is necessary to engineer and consolidate any nation’s developmental process.
However to achieve quality education would be a mirage, if teacher’s education is not in good shape, this were the words of the chairman Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Ojo chapter, Mr. Tajudeen Oladipupo.
Oladipupo, who disclosed this at a get- together organised by teachers in Ojo zone recently said teachers must be well equipped to meet the 21st century like their counterparts in other countries.
The NUT chairman stressed the need for the professionalisation of the teaching profession, despite the challenges faced by those who toiled the career path of the profession.
He identified the numerous challenges facing teachers’ education in the country to include, inadequate funding, poor societal perception of teacher education; lack of commitment among teachers; problem of attrition in teaching; lack of motivation; unethical behaviour of some teachers.
Oladipupo called for an improved welfare package for teachers, adding ‘’the government as well as stakeholders should ensure that a befitting infrastructure are put in place to enhance better teacher education programme.’’
He added that the success of an educational enterprise particularly, in terms of quality, depends to a very large extent, on the regular supply of teachers in adequate number and quality.
“The importance of the availability of high-quality teachers to the advancement of Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised. High-quality teachers are known to, not only teach students to excel academically and apply the knowledge gained in the class to every facet of life, but they are also known to be mind builders. They build students of impeccable characters and students who have strong moral values and principles that would help them change their world for the better.
‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change. Without high quality teachers teaching in our schools, the positive change we clamour for in our nation will remain elusive.
“There are mushroom schools that pay teachers as low as N5, 000 monthly. With the “get rich quick” mentality of most Nigerian youths, you can be rest assured that most of them will not opt for the teaching profession’’, he noted.
He said teachers in public and private schools are either ignorant or miles behind their counterparts from the developed world when it comes to keeping pace with developments in their profession. Consequently, they cannot maximally contribute their quota to raising students that can compete favourably with their peers.
While commending the Federal Government on its decision to employ 500,000 teachers to boost manpower in the sector, the educationist however, said a long-term plan to retain individuals who are passionate about the teaching profession was more viable than recruiting volunteers.
Said he:“If as a country, we are not able to attract our best brains to the teaching profession as is obtainable in places like Finland, Singapore and some other countries, there will be a decline in the advancement of this country. If we keep having individuals who, are neither well-grounded in their subject areas nor have the ability to think critically, emerging as teachers in this country, then the quality of students they will produce will not be able to compete with their counterparts in the near future.’’