By Daniel Kelechi
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, commonly known by its abbreviation ‘UNESCO’, celebrates World Teachers’ Day every year.
World Teachers’ Day is celebrated on October 5th each year to recognize the important role that teachers play in education.
We celebrate every teacher out there for their unwavering commitment towards the education of children and adults in the world.
Special appreciation to teachers in Nigeria who despite the working conditions and deprivation that come with teaching as a profession are still out there making sure that students are nurtured for a greater impact in the society.
According to UNESCO, 44 million teachers are needed globally to attain quality education for all by 2030 so Nigeria and Nigerians must rethink the teaching profession and make concerted effort to ensure that the welfare of teachers remains a top priority.
As we commemorate this day as Teachers’ Day, it is an opportunity for every stakeholder in the Nigerian education sector especially those in the corridor of power to have an introspection on the journey of basic education so far in Nigeria.
How well have we felt in terms of attaining free and quality education as a nation? Do our kids have unhindered access to basic education and what impact is education playing in the raising of the Nigerian child and making him able to compete with other children globally?
Nigeria is still grappling with poor quality basic education and coupled with over 20 million of children of basic education age being out-of-school, mostly in the Northern part of the country, the Federal Government, State Governments and Local governments must come down from their high horses and start engineering policies that will ensure that no Nigerian child that is of basic education age is left without access to education.
In achieving this, the remuneration of teachers must be top on its agenda as a good pay for teachers will help to rejuvenate the passion that used to drive teachers to give their all in the education of every child.
In the 60s, 70s and 80s, teachers were revered because of their immense contribution to the development of the society but today, teachers are denigrated and the teaching profession has become a last resort when one fails to secure a job after school. This trend must be corrected if we as a country want to build a society that is education driven.
We must take the teaching profession back to its glorious days and make it a profession for people with passion to teach and not where every Tom, Dick and Harry come to find solace after several attempts to secure a job fails. It is time to do away with the cliche “teachers’ rewards are in heaven.”
It is time for them to reap the benefits here on earth to protect the sanctity of the profession and make the world a better place for us and those coming after us.
From the entire UnilagSun team, we say Happy Teachers’ Day to all our outstanding teachers out there.