Implications of New Salary Scale for Teachers
In commemorating this year’s teachers day, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a special salary scale for teachers as well as increased years of service from thirty five years to forty years.
It is believed that a positive or negative influence of a teacher on any child will have an effect on that child hence the need to ensure quality education.
Perhaps this informed the Buharis administration resolve to ensure quality education of teachers by giving priority to their continued professional development.
In addition, President Buhari approved the building of low cost housing for teachers in rural areas, sponsorship of teachers, prompt payment of salary, timely promotion to eliminate stagnation to motivate and restore the lost glory to teachers and teaching in the country.
For any nation to achieve meaningful development, teaching as the greatest profession in the world must be accorded adequate recognition and respect.
One of the ways to achieve this is to rid the profession of quacks, which the ministry through the teachers registration council is currently embarking on by withdrawing unqualified teachers nationwide.
Thus individuals, states and local government, education authorities and corporate organizations must reintroduce a reward system to boost productivity in the sector.
To ensure its implementation, President Buhari had directed the ministry of education to ensure an accelerated implementation of the policy while working with states, local governments, office of the head of civil service of the federation and the national salaries, incomes and wages.
The ministry had been further directed to also send details of the new policy to the national assembly for legislation.
An inter-ministerial committee to work out modalities for implementation of the policy is in the pipeline that would enthrone the culture of competence, discipline, and dedication in the system.
In addition, there are indications that the increased teachers salary may put more pressure on the country’s fiscal position.
According to a member of the presidential advisory economic council, Bismarck Rewane though, the decision was to boost productivity but there must be a cut in budget in some areas to accommodate the new order.
The president’s order on teachers is indeed laudable.
But UNESCO’S benchmark for funding education which is twenty six percent of the national budget must be looked into to achieve the needed reform in the sector.
It is stating the obvious that teachers cannot work in isolation but with necessary infrastructure in schools across the country, the sector will restore its lost glory.
Furthermore, to whom much is given, much is expected, teachers must dedicate their full time and energy at making the sector a pride of all.