The House of Representatives has passed a resolution mandating the Universal Basic Education (UBE) to ensure additional 25 per cent salary increase to teachers in rural areas to serve as incentives to prevent them from leaving the hinterlands.
It further urged the UBE to relate with state governments in support of primary education in the country- and mandated its Committee on Basic Education to ensure compliance.
The resolution of the lower chamber followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance which was moved by Hon. Omosede Igbinedion (APC, Edo), on the urgent need to attract teachers to remote locations in Nigeria in commemoration of the World Teachers’ Day.
Leading the debate, she expressed worry that the rural-urban teachers’ migration were plagued in rural schools and remote location schools in the country.
She added that rural schools lacked adequate teaching staff for a number of reasons- pointing to evidence-based inequalities in teaching in rural and urban areas as a reality.
Igbinedion further argued that appropriate incentives had not been accommodated in the teaching staff welfare of rural teachers, rather communities and parent-teachers association have committed to improving teaching welfare to attract teachers to rural communities.
She said the rural-urban drift of teachers had greatly affected educational development in the hinterlands and impacted negatively on the performance of teachers and the learning process in schools.
While urging the House to pass the motion, the lawmaker said the world teachers’ day represented a significant token of awareness, understanding and appreciation of the roles of teachers to education and development.
Similarly, Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara hailed Nigerian teachers for their service to the development of the Nigerian child, calling for opportunities of continuous training and retraining, improved remuneration and provision of requisite infrastructure and facilities for them to impart knowledge on students in line with global standards.
Himself, once a Grade II teacher, said the House “will not relent in supporting legislative measures aimed at improving our education sector, including the welfare of teachers, to take it to a point where it can compete favourably with its global counterparts.”