Why Nigerians Do Not Respect Teachers — Educationist
By Wondrous Nnaemeka
Poor value for education has been identified as one of the reasons teachers in the country are not accorded due recognition and treated well.
This was what Israel Olusegun Adedeji, the Head of Department, Educational Foundation, Federal College of Education Technical Gusau, Zamfara State, said to THE WHISTLER , in an exclusive chat.
Israel stated that a society that does not value its educational system will not value its teachers.
“In other advanced countries of the world, teachers are respected and the social status of teachers are very high. Back in Nigeria, as it is today, the social status accorded to teachers is very low.
“The condition of service of teachers, the living conditions of teachers is very low because our society does not value education,” he stated.
He explained that reverence for teachers is important because the influence of education captures the totality of each individual’s experience in life as well as the kind of society that everyone lives in.
According to Olusegun, the wealthy ones know the importance of quality education, that’s why they send their children abroad to school.
He said there would be no need for lecturers to go on strike if the plight of teachers are taken into serious consideration.
Furthermore, he said that for Nigeria’s education to compete with global best practices, government needs to increase the funding of education to comply with the benchmark of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
These funds, according to him, would be used for constructing adequate infrastructure across schools as well as empower teachers to perform better.
“According to UNESCO, the benchmark recommended is that every nation should devote 26% of its annual budget to education.
“But since independence till now, there is no government in Nigeria that has given 15% to the educational system and that is why we are nowhere to be found among the committee of nations,” he said.
He also said that it is one thing to make allocations but it is an entirely different thing to release the funds.
However, he admitted that for the nation’s teachers to be respected, they need to constantly upgrade themselves through periodic training so they can be familiar with new trends in education, which will help them to produce quality graduates.