Nigeria’s House of Representatives has said that the 20 percent budgetary allocation for education in the 2020 appropriation was poor.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Babajide Benson (APC-Lagos) in commemoration of World Teachers’ Day at plenary presided by the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila on Thursday.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented the 2020 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly with N48 billion allocated to the Education Sector.
The House stressed on the need for an increase in the budgetary allocation to the Education sector in the 2020 appropriation bill to better equip teachers with the required training and adequate facilities in schools.
It also expressed concern that teachers in the country were overworked and remained among the worst paid in the world with poor welfare packages and teaching environments in spite of their contributions to societal development.
The green chamber also urged the Federal Government to improve on the welfare and support schemes for teachers.
It called for more training for teachers using the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM approach to address education policy and curriculum choices in schools.
The legislature emphasised that the training would improve competitiveness in science and technology development on the country.
The green chamber also called for the employment of more teachers to address the issue of inadequate staffing and low productivity within the education sector.
The House further mandated the committees on Tertiary Education and Services, and Basic Education and Service to ensure implementation.
The legislature, however, recognised and honoured the best teacher and principal in Nigeria to appreciate and show support for their selfless sacrifices towards societal development.
Speaking to newsmen, Rep. Babajide Benson said there was need for the House to appreciate the best teacher as the roles of teachers were usually undermined.
“On Saturday, I got the news that Mrs Elusakin has been elected teacher of the year by the Nigerian Union of Teachers.
“I drafted my motion and spoke with Mr Speaker who warmly embraced the idea and asked to meet the teacher and the whole House is proud of her.
“The Executive honoured her and I thought it fit to honour someone who represents a body of people who have added so much value to our lives.
Also, Agnes Elusakin, a teacher with Oriwu Senior Model College Ikorodu, Lagos said she had been teaching for 27 years and expressed gratitude to the House for the honour.
“I feel very happy and give thanks to God for the opportunity.
“The adage that they believe the teacher’s reward is in heaven is no longer in heaven; we are receiving the reward right here on earth.
“My advice to younger teachers is they should work hard, do their best and God will reward them,” Mrs Elusakin said.