The Nigeria Union of Teachers’ NUT, has said that retaining teachers above the age of 60 in the basic education sub-sector will strengthen the education system and address the problem of shortage of teachers.
The Union says it is hopeful that President Muhammadu Buhari will assent to a bill seeking to extend the retirement age for teachers and education officials in public schools from 60 to 65 years.
The National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Dr Nasir Idris speaking during the 2020 edition of the Union’s Solemn Assembly held in Abuja on Tuesday said the NUT has made a headway on the bill following its meeting with the President.
“President Buhari directed that a memo be written through the Minister of Education itemising our request on the retirement age for onward approval”
” we have made headway, we have passed all the processes, from the Senate to the House of Representatives, everybody is in consonance with the agitation of the Nigerian teachers on the retirement age issue, we look at it that the gesture that allows university lecturers to teach till 65 should be passed onto us teachers of primary and secondary school“, Idris said, emphasising that re-adjusting teachers retirement age to 65 will revive classrooms across the country.
The NUT president lamented that there is a shortage of teachers especially in the rural areas hence the need for more teachers in the system.
“…we are having shortage of teachers in our primary and secondary, that is why we are demanding that the retirement age be made 65, so that when local & state governments fail to recruit teachers we will be able to manage the ones in the system before their retirement”.
Read also: Nigeria set to recruit more teachers
Teachers in the North East
Speaking on challenges of insecurity affecting teachers in the Northeast, the NUT President disclosed that a total number of 547 teachers have been killed by insurgent groups, in the Northeast region of the country.
He called for the payment of the benefits of the deceased teachers saying their death benefits have not been paid to their families.
“…the Union is currently engaging the affected State governments to ensure that the death benefits of the deceased teachers get to their families. It is unfortunate that some of the children of these teachers affected have dropped out of school sitting at home, some can’t even go their work places”, Idris said.
“Therefore we want to appeal to the State and even the Federal government to come to the aid of our late teachers so that their families will be properly settled”
Delivering a sermon during the event, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Uthman called on the Nigerian goverment to properly secure the country, ensure food Security, create jobs, provide quality education, quality healthcare and Infrastructure Among others.
He advised the teachers to respect the claimable rights of the Nigerian child and prayed for better remuneration for teachers.
Clergy men took turns in leading prayer sessions against what they call evil forces of educational decay, Corruption, Maladministration , Insecurity and Underdevelopment.
The NUT Solemn Assembly kick starts activities of the Union every new year.