President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has celebrated Nigerian teachers across board, saying his administration will invest in education.
The Nigerian leader made the promise on Thursday (today) during the 2023 World Teachers’ Day commemoration held at Eagle Square, Abuja.
Tinubu expressed remorse over the various difficulties faced by Nigerian educators, such as overcrowded classrooms, limited resources, and inadequate opportunities for professional growth. These challenges, he asserted, are the consequence of prolonged negligence towards the esteemed teaching profession.
Represented at the event by Vice President Kashim Shettima, Tinubu emphasized the imperative of investing in education, empowering teachers, and equipping every child with the necessary tools to achieve their aspirations.
Shettima delivered the President’s keynote address, titled “Teacher Appreciation: Nurturing Minds, Changing Lives,” and stressed the commitment to implementing educational reforms that foster the emergence and sustainability of a system that recognizes education as the catalyst for innovative ideas and groundbreaking discoveries.
He reiterated that his administration will ensure teachers get their due rewards here on earth.
“With well-taught workforces, we are not only going to build a nation that thinks but one that lives in an interconnected world, a world where the exchange of knowledge and ideas knows no boundaries. Without motivated teachers, we can’t build a nation that fosters such international cooperation, builds bridges of understanding, and addresses global challenges such as climate change, poverty, and healthcare. So, education, to us, and I believe to you too, is not just a means to individual success; it is a path to global harmony and sustainable development.
“Of course, our dear teachers, we are not just going to focus solely on technological advancements. The human aspect of education is just as critical as the infrastructure. Our teachers deserve to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. It is my promise that we will work tirelessly to build a society where the teacher’s reward begins to manifest here on earth,” Tinubu said.
Noting that every educated person is a product of teachers, President Tinubu expressed the nation’s gratitude to Nigerian teachers, reassuring them that their profession is prime in the vision for the nation and her development agenda.
He said: “So, this day is more of a thanksgiving to honour those who have nurtured us, those who have guided us toward the hills upon which we stand today.
“I believe that there’s no vehicle that can transport you to your destination as safely as education. It is the reason every child, regardless of their background, awaits a future of vast possibilities. It is the reason the child of a disadvantaged family in a remote village clings to the same future as children from privileged homes with certainty.
“Education is the miracle that changes the fortune of a family in a single generation. Thanks to you, our dear teachers, we have broken down barriers and created a society where merit, talent, and hard work supersede the circumstances of one’s birth.
“So, by investing in education, by empowering our teachers, and by providing every child with the tools to reach their dream destination, we have safeguarded the future of this nation.”
AI Is Changing Everything
President Tinubu acknowledged the new era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying technology is transforming every facet of lives across the world.
The Nigerians said he has since directed the Ministers of Education to collaborate with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to comprehensively revise existing guidelines “to ensure that anyone seeking to benefit from this Act must be fully prepared to return to the classroom, equipped with the latest teaching techniques and skills, especially in the realm of information technology”.
He continued: “I am pleased to share with you a significant policy initiative, the Harmonised Retirement Age of Teachers in Nigeria Act 2022, which allows our dedicated teachers to continue their invaluable service for up to forty years or until reaching the age of sixty-five, whichever comes first. This measure is designed to retain the wealth of experience within our educational system and bolster the number of educators in our schools.
“I encourage each of you to consider taking advantage of this policy, but please bear in mind that eligibility is not automatic. To benefit from this Act, you must possess contemporary teaching skills, including proficiency in information technology, as we strive to equip our students for both the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow.”
Recalling that the role of a teacher had moved from not only imparting knowledge, the President said it had extended far beyond that, and they are now expected to be technologically adept, adaptable, and innovative.
“They must equip their students with skills that are relevant to an ever-evolving job market, where automation and AI are becoming increasingly prevalent. Our commitment to education must evolve with the times.
“Our plan for the education sector is to make it a system capable of harnessing the potential of new learning technologies. Our agenda is to build a system where artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual classrooms are not mere buzzwords. They are tools that can revolutionize the way we teach, learn, and think.
“We are going to invest in modernizing our educational infrastructure and make sure that we are in step with the world on the road to the future,” Tinubu added.
On why the government decided to present the President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Awards this year, Tinubu said improving the condition of teachers was not enough.
He stated: “This is why we will foster a culture of appreciation for our teachers. This is why we will recognise their contributions not just on World Teachers’ Day but throughout the year.
“Our teachers are not only educators but also mentors, guides, and role models who shape the character and aspirations of our children. Every nation reflects the satisfaction of its teachers.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said the day offers an opportunity for society to celebrate its true heroes, describing teachers as the champions of Nigeria’s transformation.
He said celebrating and rewarding excellence in the teaching profession was the government’s way of encouraging and attracting qualified persons to the sector.
On his part, the National President of NUT, Comrade Audu Amba, acknowledged and commended the efforts of the government to improve the welfare of teachers and their working conditions, particularly the sustenance of existing initiatives to reward excellence and hard work.
While calling on governments across different levels to scale up funding for the education sector, the NUT president urged teachers to embrace innovation in technology, just as he appealed to stakeholders to provide digital tools as well as training opportunities to enhance teaching and learning.
He also called on the government to provide adequate security in schools across the country, as well as make the teaching profession more attractive by improving welfare and infrastructure, especially in public schools.
The post I Will Invest In Education – Tinubu Says On World Teachers’ Day appeared first on Naija News.
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