Plight of teachers
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, former President of Turkey says a good teacher is like a candle, it consumes itself to light the way for others. There is no contention about the positive contributions of teachers to human capital development globally.
Teachers turn out engineers, filmmakers, writers, astronauts, architects, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs among others. It means without teachers, the world would not have great leaders and heroes who make our planet a better place for all.
It is quite pathetic today those teachers are not respected for their sacrificial role of burning like a candle while impacting knowledge on others to attain success. If we consider what they go through on a daily basis in the local communities and hinterlands of most developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, one will be touched to decry the contempt teaching profession is subjected to.
Recent discovery has shown that over 60 per cent of teachers do not have job satisfaction and are psychologically discouraged due to low take home pay, deprived welfare packages and disregards for their salient contributions to nation building. The postulation that – ‘Teachers Rewards Are in Heaven,’ a common submission in some Nigerian societies that gives credence to the fact that teachers are regarded as personal non-grata. Teachers at all levels should enjoy the labour of their hands while alive and not in their post mortal state. According to John Dewey, an American Philosopher, education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.
In the past, teachers in Nigeria had made great waves as in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and even early 80s when they were held in high esteem. Even then each ethnic tribe in Nigeria used to psyche up teachers with different appellations as they perceive their developmental roles in the society.
For example, Yorubas call a teacher ‘Oluko ni’ meaning the builder of intellects, the Ndigbos call a teacher – ‘Oye nkuzi’, meaning a person that educates while the Hausas refer to a teacher as – ‘Malamu’, someone that reveals knowledge.
Government at all levels should drop politicking and crop up policies that will set the country as an academic trail blazer in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The Federal Government should celebrate Nigerian teachers by organising a national symposium on Television and radio stations where stakeholders across the six geo-political zones will discuss challenges facing the profession and teachers’ wellbeing in the nation building.
Lateef Ositelu, Abeokuta
Source: Tribune Online