The Nigerian Union of Teachers has urged the Federal Government and the states to commit at least 15 per cent of their annual budgets to education.
The NUT also said that the bill on the extension of the retirement age of professional teachers from 60 to 65 years of age, which has since passed the third reading at the National Assembly, must be signed into law because of the advantages to the education sector.
The NUT President, Dr Nasir Idris, made these remarks during the 2019 Solemn Assembly of the union held at the National Teachers’ House on Wednesday in Abuja.
Idris said the union was also worried about the growing number of out-of-school children in the country, while calling on faith-based institutions, organisations, traditional rulers and the civil societies to partner the government and teachers in bringing the children back to school.
Idris said, “Our union urges the Federal Government and the states to ensure that the policy of giving the education sector a minimum of 15 per cent of the entire annual budget is sustained. In the same vein, higher budgetary allocation should be devoted to teacher training and retraining. We call on government at all levels to save the teaching of Mathematics, Science and Information Technology in our schools to enable Nigeria catch up with the world in the science and technology-driven global economy.
“Our public schools need higher funding and support to galvanise them for higher performance and productivity. We are keeping watch on the steady progress of the bill on the extension of the retirement age of professional teachers from 60 to 65 years of age. It is our ultimate expectation that President Muhammadu Buhari will assent to this bill into an Act of the National Assembly before the forthcoming general elections.
“The teaching profession in Nigeria deserves to be strengthened and developed in conformity with global trends. It is in this wise, that the NUT had approached the National Assembly during the public hearing on the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria bill. We call on the regulatory body to be conferred with wider powers for effective regulation to make teaching an exclusive reserve for qualified, competent and effective professional teachers.”