The new Salary Structure that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari promised to teachers will begin from January 2022.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said teachers would begin to enjoy elongated years of service from 35 to 40.
He made this known in Abuja, at a symposium organised by the Federal Ministry of Education.
The symposium was part of activities to mark the forthcoming 2021 World Teachers Day with the theme “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery”.
Nwajiuba noted that work was being concluded on the enhanced salary structure.
The Minister further disclosed that work was also being concluded on other incentives promised by the President during the 2020 World Teachers’ Day.
The incentives ranged from allowances, housing, training, to elongated years of service from 35 to 40.
He said; “the President has approved the enhanced salary structure and we will finish it very soon.
“The President specifically approved that it should take effect from 2022.
“We are doing all to finish it to ensure that by January 2022, teachers should get the remuneration they deserve…We are fast-tracking the process of implementation to see that by the end of the year we will be able to tell Mr. President that all the incentives he has approved are ready for implementation.”
Nwajiuba further stated that President Buhari has taken the lead by approving a far reaching and revitalising programme for the teaching profession in Nigeria with many soft incentives.
The Minister urged other actors including State Governors, the National Assembly and others to key into the initiative to ensure its seamless implementation.
He said; “For instance, we are tired of hearing how long teachers are being owed salaries in states.
“It is criminal. So, with the new initiative, we have incentives to attract the best brains and retain them in the teaching profession.
“All welfare issues including housing, training and retraining, enhanced remuneration, allowances are being taken care of,” he said.
The Minister commended Nigerian teachers for the sacrifice in spite of the many challenges faced in the course of their duties.
He urged them to retune themselves to fit into the new normal occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic by being more technology savvy.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Sonny Echono.
The Guest Speaker, Professor Josiah Ajiboye, said the Covid-19 pandemic abruptly changed the world education system, with African countries most hit.
Professor Ajiboye, who is the Registrar and Chief Executive of Teachers Registration Council(TRCN), said every country of the World was affected by the pandemic.
He said while some continents were able to adjust to the new normal, African countries including Nigeria found it difficult to adjust to a technology base learning.
Professor Ajiboye, while analysing the problem of Nigeria said; “Our problem in Africa was compounded as only one third had access to internet facilities.
“In Nigeria, about 62 per cent of the population have access internet facility.
“Unfortunately about 97 per cent of the number are in the urban areas, creating huge digital divide between the urban and rural areas.
“We know that government tried helping to bridge the gap by engaging the media especially radio for those in the rural areas but not much was achieved with that.”
He said the new normal of use of Information Communication Technology(ICT) for teaching and learning has come to stay and the Nigerian teachers could not afford to be left behind.
He encouraged teachers to take up ICT trainings in order to be relevant in the 21st century, stressing that the role of the teacher was gravitating more towards that of a facilitator.
Professor Ajiboye gave assurance that the TRCN would continue to play its role in developing a career path for Nigerian teachers among other things.