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2021 world teachers’ day: Making teachers take the front row

The dream begins, most of the times, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth – Daniel Irvin Rather, an American Journalist and broadcaster.

The mind is caged and limited in exploitation if it serves the ignorance embedded in illiteracy. The pages of life are read by open minds to improve humanity. Learning is a continuum; moving from generation to generation with an improved version, just to offer desired outcomes. Education is as old as its existence, though in various patterns and shades. Putting expectations in vague will make the education suffer futility in the hands of the administrators of teaching and learning? Instructors come with different nomenclatures but their duties are intact. Teachers are the focal point of literacy, it will not be fair to put them at the back seat.

One of the major errors committed by policymakers is to exempt the role of teachers in the improvement of curriculum designs and subject the task to laymen in the field. The problems have become generational as no significant touches have come from these groups of intellectuals in the architecture of education. The implementation aspect of the curriculum takes serious discussion as the task is saddled on teachers to ensure full compliance to what is purportedly alien to them. Armchair administrators take the plans to the doorsteps of learners hoping the execution will be done by the facilitators. Instructing and teaching will be cumbersome with inexperienced teachers.

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Medicine, Law, Pharmacy, Accounting and other fields of relevance will not come to be without the process of learning. This process is not adopted by illiteracy but by tutelage. The tutor takes the front seat to impact knowledge, an understanding acquired with experience and delivered with commitment to humanity. Between the stakeholders and the learners, the teacher goes in between to arrive at a desired destination-bringing out professionalism. It is saddening to realise that admissions into universities and colleges of education to study education gets low patronage. The reason is just because becoming a teacher takes less dignity in the sight of the policymakers in Nigeria and so may not be regarded as a significant field of study.

A fair share of the Nobel virus in our education sector did not take its toll without a bitter taste. To resuscitate the leftovers, it would require special intervention from international synergy. We should accept that education will not be what it used to be. Classrooms will not be just the four walls of a room. Boards for writing may not hang on the wall. Teachers may not necessarily have physical contact with learners before they impact knowledge. Textbooks and other educational materials may not be hard prints. The school curriculum will change to fit the new normal.

The learner’s attitude towards learning should be reviewed with adequate attention and appropriate panacea. The lockdown in Nigeria took a number of students away from the classrooms as well as disrupting learning. Some states like Lagos state intervened swiftly but not without its shortcomings. Providing internet enabled devices to some students in Senior High Schools but these children do not have parents who could efficiently assist in the operation of these devices while at home in many cases. Other programmes by the state government considered the training of the handlers of these learners. Teachers and other stakeholders of education.

Eko digital takes the front burner of digitalisation of education in Lagos state. The Lagos state Ministry of Education provides a digital approach to learning as learners adopt the “new normal”. Presumably, other states will take a leaf from this innovation. Relevant resources have been deployed to bring this to a brilliant commencement: engaging teachers with supportive guidelines towards the innovation of a robust education equipped with technology. Advancement in technology is the efficient way to handle this era of social distancing. Soft copies of materials that range from notes of lessons to statutory records of learners have been helpful in this timely migration.

Population of teachers should not outgrow the budget of a government; they are the bedrock of the economy.

The welfare of teachers should be revitalised in this era as it takes more strength and commitment to be a good and fruitful teacher. Not in numbers of years in service but in remuneration befitting the role of a role model in the society. This will breed wellness that can sprout into enthusiastic delivery of content. A branch of the parent union of teachers, National Union of Teachers, took to the streets to sensitise the community about the importance of enrolling children in school to reduce the level of illiteracy in Mushin local government area. Led by the branch Chairman, Comrade Onikosi Fatai, along with other members of the union who participated in this annual programme- World Teachers’ Day. In his words at the secretariat of Mushin LGA, “the worth of teachers are invaluable” that no one can despise the roles of teachers in our society.

It will be sacrilegious to dehumanise teachers in the society, not even from parents, nor from governments. We have had cases of students’ gang up to beat their teachers, there are cases of government owing salaries or some slashing the take home of teachers. Population of teachers should not outgrow the budget of a government, they are the bedrock of the economy. To reduce the numbers of children dropping out of schools, increase the numbers of professional teachers in the society. Whether in private or public schools, teachers are noble. They are loco parentis, assuming the roles of parents in areas of discipline and morals for the learners to model.

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