The teachers, they say, are the building blocks of the society and the important role they play in the community can never be overemphasized. However, the community’s love and care towards our very essential teachers do not speak well for us at all.
While the few available standard schools offer decent remuneration, though incomparable to public schools, other mushroom schools which unfortunately are legion and readily sited in the shanties where job seekers often find affordable accommodation, exploit teachers through poor salaries, welfare package and bombarding them with ridiculous subjects and classes to teach.
In one of such schools visited at Iba area of Lagos, Ms. Yemisi, a teacher said although she augments her salary through private lessons, her monthly take-home pay is N5,000. Asked why she wouldn’t quit, Yemisi noted that she makes over five times her salary from private lessons, with her students drawn from the school. She however added that the school does not compromise with quality as it employs only graduates.
Another teacher, Ndubuisi, who expressed displeasure over the development, said apart from the poor remuneration, teachers are expected to perform optimally like their counterparts in the few standard schools, describing it as counterproductive.
From most of the schools visited in the shanties of Lagos, which are easily accessible to most Nigerians, it was gathered that teachers are paid between N5,000 to N20,000 monthly, with each teacher covering no fewer than two subjects, in virtually all the classes.
Reacting, the Principal of one of the schools visited, Mr. Dafe Onome, said the poor remuneration of teachers is often as a result of the population of students, school fees and environmental factors, arguing that schools in developed parts of Lagos offer better welfare packages.
Mrs. Njideka Ndugba, an educationalist, while relishing memories of the good old days, said schools apart from being adequately supervised by the government did not conform with globally accepted standards. The present development she said has gravely affected the quality of education in the country.
She said government should enact policies and regulations to provide better welfare packages for all teachers as the current practice rubbishes the teaching profession In Nigeria.
Do you think, perhaps, the government has a role to play in aiding our unappreciated teachers?
- By Ezeh Emmanuel