Prof. Adeolu Akande,a gubernatorial aspirant in Oyo State, has called on government at all levels in the country to give primacy of place to the affairs of teachers.
Akande who spoke on the occasion of the 2017 Teachers Day said Nigeria should learn from the experience of the developed countries of the world where the renumeration of teachers tower above many other professions.
“An instructive experience was that of Germany where President Angela Merkel recently rebuffed agitations of top public servants for higher wages than what teachers earn by saying she would not pay them salaries higher than those of the teachers who taught them in school”, Akande recalled.
Akande argued that as the people who lay the foundation for every other professions,teachers deserve better renumeration and welfare packages than they presently receive.
Prof Akande said concerns over the welfare of teachers should include prompt payment of salaries and pensions, special packages for decent housing and medical services,regular in-service training, provision of teaching aid materials, upgrading of teaching facilities, regular and adequate school running subvention and a generally conducive work environment.
“We have to upgrade the infrastructure in our schools to make them conducive workplace for teachers as they are conducive learning centres for students”,Akande said.
Akande advised that the country should move beyond the average annual budgetary allocation to education which hovers around 11 percent and aspire to the 26 percent recommended by UNESCO so that pressing needs in the sector which include teachers welfare can be taken care of.