NUT urges LASG to address shortage of teachers, other issues

LAGOS – In order to fill the void left by retiring and relocated teachers, the Lagos Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has made a plea to the state government to hire more teachers for public schools.

In a Saturday interview in Lagos, NUT Chairman Mr. Akintoye Hassan made the request.

Given the rate of teacher retirement in schools and the lack of a suitable replacement, Hassan proposed that the matter be handled urgently.

“It is in line with this thinking that the NUT in Lagos initiated and championed the bill for the elongation of teachers’ retirement age from 60 years to 65 years.

“To our surprise, however, some other states are already implementing similar bills, but Lagos is yet to start.

“Recruitment of teachers needs to be done, to make up for the shortages. Many teachers have retired without corresponding replacements.

“We, therefore, urge the Lagos Government to implement the teachers’ retirement age elongation, it will go a long way to ease the dearth of teachers being experienced in the state,” he said.

Hassan also noted that the “Japa (relocation) Syndrome” was equally affecting teachers’ population, as a lot of teachers had relocated to countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and other places.

“Most of the teachers being produced in Colleges of Education are not absorbed into the education system.

“In former days, immediately students finish their teachers’ training, they only filled forms to be posted to schools of their choice to teach.

“The best of development is human capital development, more recruitment of teachers will help teachers to be independent, and the effect will show in schools and society,” he said.

Hassan, however, appreciated the Lagos State Government for its policies on prompt payment of salary, training and retraining of teachers, schools infrastructural development among others.

“To some extent, government has been engaging in training of both primary and secondary teachers during each session.

“In terms of infrastructural development especially buildings, furniture, we have overcome lack of furniture in schools because we do move around to ensure that all students have enough.

“Some of the schools even have excess of tables and chairs, which were given by the government, organisations, old students association, individuals and others.

“It is such that in some schools, students are now overcrowded in classrooms because more people are migrating into Lagos. Recent economic situation have made parents re-enroll their children from private to public schools.

“We are experiencing dearth of teachers in schools to meet the demand of overcrowded students in classrooms. We just do not have enough hands,” Hassan said.

The NUT Chairman also urged that accommodation be provided for teachers as a lot of them found it difficult to afford to live close to where they teach, so they stayed outside Lagos.

“We want the government to increase our salaries due to the economic situation which has affected transportation, foodstuffs among others,” he said.