A teacher from Ogun State, Patrick Adaramola and a school administrator from Anambra State, Grace Ezenwa have emerged winners in the 2018 edition of the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award.
The duo were presented brand new Hyundai cars worth N7 million (N3.5m each) by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of the 2018 World Teachers’ Day celebrations marked last Friday in Abuja.
This award, which was instituted under the Buhari administration, is directed at encouraging teachers, school administrators and schools to give their best. Each year overall best teacher, school administrator and best school are respectively given prizes during the Teachers’ Day.
Mr Adaramola who teaches at the Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, Yewa North, Ogun State, emerged the 2018 overall best teacher. On the other hand, Mrs Ezenwa of Awada Primary School 4, Anambra state won the best school administrator category.
Doherty Memorial College, Ijoro, Ekiti State received an 18 seater bus in the Best School Excellence Award category.
Other items presented were Refrigerators, Freezers, Plasma Televisions, Power Generating sets among others, to various categories of winners.
The president, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha praised teachers for their doggedness and commitment to excellence.
EduCeleb.com reports that the World Teachers’ Day became an international observance in recognition of the role teachers play in building the future leaders. It focuses on appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world and hopes to provide an opportunity to address issues related to teachers and teaching.
It is marked on 5th October every year. A theme is chosen by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to mark the day each year. The theme of the 2018 World Teachers’ Day celebration ‘The Right to Education Means the Right to Qualified Teacher’.
Government committed to improving teacher education
The president said he is committed to the cause of improving quality in the teaching profession as frantic efforts are being made to improve teacher education in Nigeria.
”Professionalisation of teaching in Nigeria has come to stay…Therefore, the theme of the 2018 World Teachers’ Day celebration ‘The Right to Education Means the Right to Qualified Teacher’ was apt in line with various reforms being put in place in teacher education sub-sector. The reforms aimed at improving the welfare and quality of teachers in the country,” he explained.
He noted that the teaching profession in Nigeria is still faced with challenges of low wages and low self-esteem and pledged to make the profession lucrative.
In recognition of the efforts of teachers towards nation-building, Buhari said ”teaching would be made more lucrative to attract the best brains to the profession.”
The President also promised that the Nigerian government would ensure that every child get quality education.
NUT charges governments on teacher recruitment and public school quality
Meanwhile, the National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nasir Idris, also urged the Federal, State and Local Governments in Nigeria to ensure massive recruitment of qualified teachers and to redouble their efforts in the provision of quality public education that would be affordable and accessible to every Nigerian child.
“We also call on relevant International Development Partners to invest more in public schools where the children of the poor masses can be reached, instead of the private schools that are established with the motive of making profit.
Mr Idris also appealed to the Federal Government to give adequate support to the ongoing professionalisation of the teaching profession by ensuring that only professionally trained and qualified teachers are recruited to teach in our schools.
He said the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award, has helped to give hope to teachers and restore the dignity of the teaching profession.
“We call on the Federal Government to approve the payment of the 27.5 percent Teachers Enhancement Allowance to teachers in the Unity Schools and other Federal Government Schools. These teachers should also be allowed to exercise their trade union rights by belonging to the Industrial Unions of their choice.”
The Federal Government, as a matter of urgent importance, should organise an Education Summit not just a forum for the traditional paper presentation, but a forum where all stakeholders will meet to resolve and strengthen the weak links and fill all gaps that have incapacitated and bedridden our education system.”