The 2017 Maltina teacher award has been flagged in Lagos with stakeholders calling on governments at all levels to intervene in the education sector.
Expressing his anger over the poor state of the sector, Professor Aloy Ejiogu, who gave a keynote address at the event, noted that government at every level should stop giving lip service to education, saying the politicization of the sector by politicians was unacceptable.
While calling on government for urgent intervention, Professor Aloy berated the poor remuneration of teachers and lack of lucid policy direction, harping that the situation has discouraged best brains into the teaching profession.
He clarified pointedly that no other profession in Nigeria seems to be so faced with endless problems and challenges.
“…Listed among the countless travails of the Nigerian teachers are inadequate funding of the education sector, poor teacher remuneration and working condition, lack of professional and in-service trainings, non or short internship programmes, high teacher-pupil ratio, unhealthy government interference and politicization of education, lack of autonomy by the Nigerian union of Teachers and weak entry qualification. The list of such travails can be endless/inexhaustible, nauseating and embarrassing in equal measure,” he added.
He stressed that there can never be any development without teachers, saying teachers are the developers of human minds which later transform the whole society.
“Teachers are the first set of people who give a child a sense of self or validation outside of the home. If they are successful at imparting their knowledge and building a child’s confidence in his or her abilities, or in encouraging a child to pursue certain skills or even dreams, then they could have had a positive impact on that child’s life.”
He pointed out also that teachers exudes extraordinary kindness to children. “Teachers are the first set of people who give a child a sense of self or validation outside of the home. If they are successful at imparting their knowledge and building a child’s confidence in his or her abilities, or in encouraging a child to pursue certain skills or even dreams, then they could have had a positive impact on that child’s life.”
While responding to comments at the event, The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Nicolaas Vervelde, represented by Mr Kufre Ekanem, the Corporate Adviser of Nigerian Brewries, noted that Maltina Teacher of the year initiative, was aimed at inspiring teachers hence according them their deserved respect.
The winner of the competition is expected to go home with N1 million as well as the N500,000 as the state champion and also receive N1 million annually for five years. Maltina Teacher of the year initiative has produced 43 state champions, with two overall winners.