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Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State

World Teachers Day: Stakeholders demand sustainable financing for teaching profession in Lagos

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State

Lagos

As teachers all over the world mark the 2019 World Teachers Day on October 5, stakeholders in Lagos have demanded sustainable financing for the teaching profession in Lagos State.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Olufunso Owasanoye, Executive Director, Human Development Initiatives (HDI), on Friday in Lagos.

The theme for the 2019 World Teachers Day is “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.”

Owasanoye said that as a prelude to the celebration, the HDI had assembled stakeholders from the Nigeria Union of Teachers, HDI, ActionAid Nigeria, etc, to identify challenges facing the teaching profession in Lagos State.

The other stakeholders assembled were Civil Action Coalition on Education for All – CSACEFA, Tax Justice Network, the Lagos State Ministries of Education, Economic Planning and Budget, the Ministry of Finance, as well as the media.

“They met to identify issues negatively impacting the teaching profession and harming the delivery of quality, free, equitable and inclusive education to all children especially girls and the marginalised, including children with disabilities.

” Areas requiring urgent improvements in order to secure the future of education and the teaching profession were further identified with the view to making recommendations to tackle them

“This year’s WTD theme is very unique because it is pointing to very germane concerns about the falling standards of public education and how unattractive the teaching profession has been to young and best brains particularly in Nigeria,” Owasanoye said.

The executive director said that the teaching profession needed to recruit 69 million new teachers to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) deadline.

“There is a huge shortage of teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa affecting 70 per cent of countries overall and 90 per cent of countries at the secondary level.

“In addition to the foregoing, Lagos State must deal with some key challenges of the teaching profession which include, but not limited to poor funding of public education system

” Inadequate remuneration of public school teachers especially basic education.

” lack of social security/poor service condition, poor teaching and learning environment, grossly inadequate instructional materials and infrastructure, inadequate training and training opportunities.

“Furthermore, political interference in teachers’ recruitment, obsolete curriculum, inferior entry criteria for acquiring teaching qualification, ineffective implementation of existing education policies and stagnation in the recruitment of professional teachers.”

She also highlighted the inability to sustain effective systems/best practices introduced by past donors’ interventions such as ESPIN, Eko Project, and COMPASS.

“Others include inefficient Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for trainings conducted for teachers in Lagos State in the past and system that ensure value for the money spent.

“Inadequate supervision and mentoring of teachers especially in hard-to-reach areas, among other.

All these further reduce the efficiency of teachers and lower the standards of teachers and education in the State and country at large, which must be addressed urgently”

She noted that it was difficult to attract young and vibrant minds into the teaching profession in the face of these challenges.

According to her, without a new generation of motivated, up-to-date and tech savvy teachers, millions of children will continue to miss out on quality, equitable and inclusive education and Nigeria’s future will certainly suffer the consequences o

As teachers mark the day, the executive director had the following recommendation for the Lagos State Government:

“The Lagos State Government should provide basic social welfare packages for teachers and education officers to attract young professional teachers into the public education sector.

” Government should institutionalize the blueprints of successful past interventions such as Lagos Eko Projects, ESSPIN, COMPASS, etc to strengthen education governance.

“It should widen sources of funding for education and encourage Corporate Sector investment as well as voluntary support.

“National examination bodies and relevant institutions should review upward the criteria for admission into education institutions (Universities and Colleges of Education) to attract the best brains into the teaching profession.”

She urged the government to eliminate political interference in teachers’ recruitment processes and make it more transparent and inclusive.

She urged the Ministry of Education working with other relevant institutions toimprove training and retraining of teachers and develop efficient KPIs to monitor teachers’ training performance.

“The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the other agencies of government should strengthen recruitment plan/strategy to sustain sufficient supply of professional teachers into the public school system.

The Lagos State Government should strengthen the Quality Assurance Department of the Ministry of Education to regularly and effectively supervise, monitor education service delivery and school interventions” Owasanoye said.

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