Some private school teachers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have called on proprietors and administrators to improve the welfare of their staff.
They made the call in separate interviews with our correspondent against the backdrop of the need to improve the low level of their welfare.
Miss Lilian Okpeadua, one of the teachers, said the role played by teachers in society is immeasurable and qualifies them for better welfare than they currently enjoy.
She said improving the welfare of teachers would go a long way toward encouraging them to do more.
She said most private schools charge very high school fees but do not pay reasonable wages to their staff even when such workers are sometimes overworked.
“Teaching is a noble profession. It is one of the most important jobs on earth.
“Teaching is how we impart knowledge, instill values, inspire, and shape the minds of students to reach their full potential.
“Yet teachers hardly receive good salaries despite the hard work and dedication they put in.
“This happens even in private schools where the fees are even higher.
“Only a few of the schools provide welfare packages or other forms of incentive for their staff apart from the normal wages.
“I think that school administrators should begin to look in that direction.
It will help their workers deliver better results,” she said.
Another teacher, Miss Vivian Eze, urged school owners and administrators to begin to look at their staff as a community that deserves to be touched.
She emphasised that school administrators should go beyond paying meagre salaries to their staff and begin to review their welfare including health and mental well-being as well as their happiness and satisfaction.
According to her, this will go a long way in addressing shortfalls, especially in the face of the present economy.
Eze maintained that better welfare will help teachers develop themselves better while promoting the ideals the school they are working at stands for.
“I remember when I was being paid N25,000 to teach six subjects in two classes every day, mark notes and assignments of more than 20 pupils in a private school where pupils pay more than N200,000 as school fees.
“It was tedious and time-consuming. And sometimes, we did not get paid in full at the end of the month because of a little mistake we made somewhere in the course of the work.
“Sometimes deductions would be made in your wages of 25,000 naira because you were ill and couldn’t go to work at one point.
“Running a school should not just be to the benefit of the owners but should cater to staff’s physical, psychological, and mental health. It should be a family with care and attention, thereby promoting progress for all,” she said.
Mrs Joy Umukoro, a parent, said “teachers invest so much time and effort educating their students. And they do it with a lot of passion despite the small pay.”
She described as unfortunate a situation where teachers do not get paid well even when the schools are making very good money through fees paid by the students.
“I hope this can be looked into.
I think that for the kind of fees schools receive, their teachers should be paid better, in both the private and public schools.
“If teachers are paid better, it will encourage them to carry every student along, both the ones who are intelligent and those who are struggling.
“All of them will get the attention they should get.