2020 BUDGET: REPS ADVOCATE BETTER WORKING CONDITION FOR TEACHERS
The 2020 appropriations bill has passed second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives, after two days of steady debate.
During Thursday plenary, the green Chambers called on the Federal Government to increase the annual budget for the educational sector so as to create room for absorbing more teachers as well as improve the productivity of teachers across the country.
Honourable Babajimi Benson who raised the observation, decried the poor working condition of teachers while also calling on the government to increase annual education budget allocation to 20%.
Hon Benson while presenting the motion said, this year’s World Teachers’ Day (WTD) or International Teachers’ Day was celebrated on October 5, 2019, with the theme – “Young Teachers, the future of the Profession and was aimed at proffering ideas to attract and keep young persons in the profession.
According to him, “aware that the celebration of teachers followed the United Nation’s Declaration in 1994 for the recognition of the World Teachers Day (WTD) or International Teachers Day to celebrate teachers around the World for their efforts towards shaping the minds of several children and the society at large even though they remain unsung heroes and heroines whose contributions to the society are underappreciated.
“Also aware that the United Nation’s in developing the thematic areas of concentration for the Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education, recognizes the role of teachers as being key to the achievement of its Education by 2030 Agenda.
He further said , “observes that the Federal Government, in marking the day, instituted the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award to show appreciation for the immense contributions of teachers to nation-building.
“Worried that despite the contributions of Teachers to societal development, teachers in Nigeria are overworked and remain among the worst paid in the world, with poor welfare package and teaching environment
“Also worried that currently none of the E9 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan) other than Nigeria, allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education”. He said.
Lawmakers in their various contributions to the debate, commended teachers for their passion and zeal in carrying out their duty judiciously, despite the profession in the country not being lucrative.
The House to this end, recognised Agnes Elusekin Oriwu of Modern college Ikorodu and Pius Ikuseyidun of Government Senior College Ekpe,Lagos State, who had been serving for 27 years emerged the best teacher and best principal of the year respectively.
The green Chambers also lauded their outstanding contributions to the education of Nigerian children and the educational sector at large.
Meanwhile, the House has adjourned its plenary till 29th October to enable it evaluate 2018 budget and commence the defence of the 2019 budget estimate.