• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Nigerians rely on unhappy teachers to develop education sector

Experts demand operational framework for teaching profession

The ugly tales of Nigerian teachers who are not satisfied with their jobs abound and the disturbing scenario is that the future of the country’s education rests on the shoulders of these unsatisfied people.

Regina Odinaka a nursery teacher from Imo State has a passion for teaching nevertheless, she is not satisfied with what she is getting from the vocation.

“I love teaching so much and it gives me so much joy, though the job is stressful with a poor remuneration system, and unfriendly conditions of service,” she said.

Odinaka teaches more than 10 subjects among which are; Numeracy, Literacy, Grammar, and Vocal development among others in the kindergarten/nursery cadre of her school.

Though she is always faced with the disturbing task of ensuring that the children are in order and are doing well in the class, bearing in mind that each child’s learning ability differs, yet the treatments and condition of service is to her not worth the sacrifice.

Similarly, Samuel Olukayode from Kwara State teaches Mathematics in a private secondary school. His job was such that he had to cover three classes every day with an average of 35 students in a class.

Olukayode receives his salary frequently but in most cases in the second week of the month. He does not like his job because more often than not he is saddled with deadlines for all his work without considering his person and health.

Adefunke Lawal, who also teaches Mathematics, Culture & Creative Arts (CCA), and Geography for JSS1-3 for a private school in Lagos State has 25 students in a class and is not happy with the things in her workplace. Lawal’s dissatisfaction with her job is rooted in poor remuneration.

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“The reason for working is to earn an income that will help you meet your needs, but where the pay will not even take you home like it is called ‘take-home’, besides, it is not even coming regularly,” she said.

Barnabas Imueh, a teacher in a public school in Rivers State shared his experience with BusinessDay.

“I teach Government in a Government Secondary School (name withheld), and though I like the profession, I’m not satisfied with the condition of service,” he said.

Imueh explained that he takes up to 90 to 100 students per class and that he covers eight contacts every day of the week.

He disclosed that the salary is regular but not up to what he would want for a service of such magnitude.

According to Victory Duru, the lead consultant of Knowledge–to–Skills – Advisor, “Our education is standing on a time bomb that is about to explode on us if something positive and drastic is not done urgently to tackle some of those vices attacking the motivation and job satisfaction of teachers.”

Job satisfaction no doubt plays a vital role in motivating teachers to give their best in the profession. Experts argue that a satisfied worker operates at two levels of satisfaction, his own needs satisfaction and the satisfaction needs of the organisation.

It, therefore, means that a teacher who is satisfied with his job will in turn satisfy the needs of his students in a school.

Friday Erhabor, a public affairs analyst, said that it is not just teachers that need job satisfaction, but all workers.

“If you want to get the best from any worker, job satisfaction is the key. Why teachers’ own is more imperative is that when they are not satisfied, they can transfer aggression to their pupils and students and for students to learn from a teacher, they must like the teacher’s mood and disposition.

“To address lack of job satisfaction among teachers, the government must as a matter of priority treat teachers as special government workers both in terms of pay and other incentives,” he said.

In the same vein, Elizabeth Ohaka notes that teachers will not focus on their work and work effectively if they are not satisfied.

“A happy teacher builds a happy student; it is a wholesome teacher that will build a wholesome student. If a teacher is not satisfied with her job, her output will be below average, when it is below average it will tell on the output of the students, they won’t be able to be the best,” she noted.

In the face of numerous crises in the education sector, teachers’ job satisfaction is one undermining factor hindering the growth of the system.

Job satisfaction is a feeling of fulfillment a person derives from his job. It is a measure of workers’ contentness with the job, whether they like the job or individual aspects or facets of jobs, such as nature of work or supervision.

In Nigeria, teachers and indeed the teaching profession has been relegated to the background.

Teachers are no longer accorded the usual respect in society even from their own students. If the teacher should win back his respect, it is necessary to improve his condition.

The neglect of teachers’ needs implies the neglect of our educational system as a whole. If Nigeria is to progress in all spheres of life, then the educational sector should be given adequate attention to ensuring job satisfaction for teachers.