The Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University of Education (LASUED), Prof. Bidemi Lafiaji-Okuneye, has decried shortage of qualified and experienced teachers in Nigeria.
Lafiaji-Okuneye made this known at the celebration of the 2023 World Teachers’ Day at LASUED, Ijaniki Campus, on Thursday.
World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 5 to show gratitude to teachers and other educators.
The 2023 World Teachers’ Day had the theme: “The Teachers We need for the Education We Want: The Global Imperative to Reverse the Teacher Shortage”.
Lafiaji-Okuneye said that shortage of teachers had far-reaching consequences on the quality of education.
“Upshots of teacher shortage in Nigeria includes decline in the overall quality of education, increasing educational inequality, persistent failure to develop human capital and produce a competent workforce.
“The primary causes of teacher shortage in Nigeria include low salaries, lack of incentives, limited opportunities for career growth, overcrowded classrooms, inadequate teaching materials, and brain drain.
“The theme of this year’s anniversary cannot be more apt because the quality of education will be compromised if there are not enough teachers in our classrooms,” Lafiaji-Okuneye said.
She added that education systems through which societies, communities and families recognise, appreciate and actively support teachers must be properly evaluated.
“Policymakers must be compelled to allocate more resources to education, ensure adequate funding for teachers’ salaries and professional development.
“Together, we can create a sustainable education system that empowers our youths and drives national development.
“The longer we delay in addressing this crisis, the more we jeopardise the development of our nation,” Lafiaji-Okuneye said.
She said that teachers were the backbone of any education system.
“The place of teaching in nation-building is a dominant paradigm to the extent that teaching serves as the gauge by which the development of a nation is measured.
“Teachers, the world over, wear the toga of nation builders as doctors, lawyers, engineers and other professionals hold their statuses to the clemency of teachers.
“Being a teacher provides the unique opportunity to make a transformative and lasting impact on the lives of others, contributing to shaping sustainable future and offering personal fulfillment,” Lafiaji-Okuneye said.
She added that teachers played a pivotal role in imparting knowledge, shaping the minds of students and preparing them for the future.
“I am proud to be a teacher because I studied physical education. It is a noble profession which helps to mold destiny of our students,” Lafiaji-Okuneye said.