The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Thursday said the Muhammadu Buhari administration was in support of jacking up the retirement age for teachers from 60 to 65 years.
The minister made this known at a public hearing on the need to insulate teachers from the retirement age for public servants organised by the House Joint Committee on Basic Education and Public Service.
The minister said that it was as a means of improving the standard of basic and secondary education in the country.
Mr Adamu informed the house joint committee that the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, had submitted the new retirement age proposal to the ministry and the National Assembly for approval.
He said that the drive was based on the need for better performance by teachers and the desire to have quality teachers in the nation’s schools.
“Nigerian teachers to some extent require a reasonable retirement age like their counterparts in India, Canada, Belgium that have increased the retirement age for teachers to 65 years.
“We are appealing to the House to approve the bill because the ministry is in support of increasing the retirement age of teachers,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman House Committee on Basic Education, Rep Zakari Mohammed, said that the bill was being considered for passage.
He says the bill seeks to absolve teachers from the public service rule which sets the retirement age for government workers at 60, and set for them a new retirement age of 65.
According to the chairman, teachers are the bedrock of any nation and as such their wealth of experience must be tapped into to enhance the well being of society.
Mr Mohammed said apart from the bill to extend the retirement age for teachers, House also was considering to amend the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria Act to strengthen its regulatory powers to promote professionalism and eradicate quacks.
Also, the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Public Service, Rep. Adekoya Abdel-Majid, described teachers as professionals who laid the foundation for a nation’s economic, technological and social development.
Mr Abdel-Majid said that the more years a teacher spent on the job, the better he delivered his services to the learners based on experiences gathered over the years and the wisdom of age.
Stakeholders present at the hearing to support the passage of the bills were the Parent Teachers Association, PTA, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, Nigerian Teachers Institute, NTI, and the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC.