Prof. Yahaya Alabi, the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Ilorin, has called on all levels of government in Nigeria to address the issue of living wages for teachers. He emphasized the need for a special salary scale that would incentivize educators to remain in their profession.
Delivering a lecture during the 2023 World Teachers’ Day celebration organized by the Nigeria Union of Teachers in Kwara State, Alabi expressed concern about the shortage of teachers in public schools. He stressed that recognizing and appreciating the contributions of teachers is essential to reverse this trend.
Alabi highlighted key factors that could help alleviate the shortage of teachers. These included providing incentives and rewards, ensuring a conducive working environment, prioritizing professional development, granting autonomy and empowerment, maintaining clear communication, offering career advancement opportunities, and ensuring prompt payment of retirement benefits.
The lecture focused on the theme, ‘The Teachers We Need For The Education We Want: The Global Imperative to reverse Teachers Shortage.’ Alabi underscored that teachers in the 21st century should be computer literate, possess in-depth knowledge of curriculum and subject matter, and maintain positive relationships with students.
He emphasized the importance of academic and professional qualifications, as well as personal characteristics, for teachers to meet global standards.
Comrade Yusuf Agboola, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, urged the state government to adopt the new Teachers’ Retirement templates of 65/40 years, similar to what is implemented in several other states. He also called for the establishment of a committee to address salary disparities and provide recommendations.
Agboola raised several other concerns, including the non-recruitment of additional teachers to fill gaps left by retirements and other reasons. He also highlighted issues related to subsidy removal, non-release of promotions, salary disparities, and outstanding arrears.
In conclusion, Agboola expressed optimism that discussions with education stakeholders and the state government would lead to positive resolutions for these pending challenges faced by teachers in Kwara State.