Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Director, Culture and Cultural Dialogue, Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, Dr Ferdinand Anikwe, has urged relevant authorities in the education sector to pay teachers regularly for the survival of education in Enugu State and Nigeria at large.
He told Ikengaonline that teachers remain the bedrock of educational development of any nation.
According to him, education is fundamental to sustainable development and without teachers, quality education cannot be achieved.
“You must pay teachers for them to teach well, without a good teacher there is no good learning, so, to that extent, the teacher is the pillar of the education system,” he said.
He lamented that teachers are no longer committed to teaching because of lack of motivation by relevant authorities.
“Without holding brief for either the government or the teachers, the labourer deserves his wages.
“I don’t know which tier of government is responsible for the payment of teachers but the important thing is that, if you work, you should be paid as others,” he said.
Anikwe added that it was on the basis of regular salary and good remuneration that any teacher could go to the classroom and confidently and comfortably prepare his lesson note and then talk to the students.
“During our primary school days our teachers were committed, listening to radios, reading novels, watching television, reading science books to make sure that we come out tops.
“Teachers were proud of their students but today, if you don’t pay a teacher how can he cope in this hard economic condition,” Anikwe said.
He called on the curriculum planners to inculcate value orientation into the primary and secondary school curriculum in view of the current socioeconomic challenges in the country.
According to him, the socioeconomic challenges in the society determined the shift in education, hence “the content of education curriculum should reflect the fact that white collar job is no longer available.”
“So, the general orientation and value system should change with the times.
“And remember that in the primary and secondary levels there is what is called ‘character formation,’ and this is very important because not everybody has the opportunity of going to tertiary institution.
“At the age when you go to higher institution you have already made up your mind what you want be,” he said.
Anikwe observed that many youths from the South-East, without going to higher institution were more productive than those who attended higher institution.
“The important thing in education is the formative years.
“During our time in primary school, you don’t begin to think of becoming a billionaire even at the primary school which is trending today,” he said.
He, however, suggested mutual understanding between the teachers and government for the sake of peace and industrial harmony.
“My suggestion is that, in human resource management there should not be a strong disagreement between the employee and the employer.
“Between the teachers and the government there should be constant negotiation and dialogue in resolving any issue.
“There should be collective bargaining process so that they can reach agreement midway,” he said.