The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has approved new incentives to improve the conditions of service for teachers in the country.
He said the teaching profession has suffered neglect with attendant consequences in brain drain and poor quality graduates.
He said this at the Inauguration of the National Implementation Committee on the Revitalisation and Repositioning of the Teaching Profession in Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
“It was with this clear understanding of the role of the teacher in the emerging knowledge economy and the need to attract and retain the best brains in our educational institution that the President approved a range of incentives in order to revitalise and reposition the teaching profession,” he said.
Mr Adamu said the first incentive is an “enhanced entry point for teachers in the civil service by restricting entry into the teaching profession only to highly gifted, academically outstanding students/scholars with the right attitudinal and emotional disposition.”
“Special teacher salary scale for teachers in basic and secondary schools, including provisions for rural posting allowances, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance,” he said.
He also said there must be a harmonized retirement age and teaching service years for teachers in Nigeria.
According to Adamu, a Special Teacher Pension Scheme to enable the teaching profession retain its experienced talents as well as extend teachers’ retirement age to 65 years and teaching service years to 40 years will be established.
Newsmen reported how President Muhammadu Buhari officially increased the maximum number of teachers’ years of service from 35 to 40 back in October.
Adamu also said the government would create a career path policy for the teaching profession in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, who doubled as the chairperson of the newly inaugurated committee, told the minister that himself and other members of the committee would work hard to ensure all the objectives and strategies are implemented in due course.
Echono said the committee recognises that certain aspects of the task can be completed quickly so they would work accordingly.
“Others might require further consultation with other agencies like the Income, Salaries and Wages Commission to finalise the new teachers’ salary scale”, he said.
According to Echono, the committee is already in consultation with the state and would also be meeting with all the heads of service of the federation under the auspices of the National Council of Establishment before the end of the month to enlist their support.