Ex-minister urges govt to provide staff quarters for teachers
Following a series of insecurity challenges confronting some Nigerian schools, a former Minister of Education, Prof Chinwe Nora Obaji, has urged government and education managers in the country to endeavour to provide accommodation for the teaching staff within the school premises. She said it has become imperative particularly in boarding schools, as it would ensure efficient teaching and effective supervision of students’ activities, as well as stem the menace of insecurity and general misconduct within the school premises.
She stated this on the sideline of the 45th Inter-House Sports competition of Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Yaba. Obaji, who insisted that government must ensure that learning environment at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels is safeguarded in the interest of the Nigerian child, maintained that students’ safety is key in the overall learning process.
According to her, “Efforts must be made by the minister to ensure teachers live in the college. Firstly, it makes for effective teaching and supervision of students and it would help forestall the insecurity incidents that have been occurring in some schools. Safety of children is very paramount. If the teachers, the principal and other management staffs are living on the school compound, certain things shouldn’t be taken for granted. They must be security conscious and ensure that they are adequately protected”.
She continued, “During the days of my father as a headmaster, we never lived in the village; we lived at the staff quarters. Also during secondary school education at Queens College, Yaba, all our teachers lived in the compound. We had teachers at that time from America, Britain, France and other parts of the world as teachers. If we did not have staff quarters at that time it would have been difficult for these teachers coming from various parts of the world to teach us. So the system must provide staff accommodation, so as to have everything that makes for effective teaching and learning.”
While emphasising the importance of sports, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education (FME), Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, remarked that sport is not only a unifying tool in the contemporary world, but also beneficial to human health. Yemi-Esan, represented by the Director, Technology and Science Education, FME, Mr. Chega Sande Gandy, advised the students to develop the capability of balancing academic and sporting activities so that one does not jeopardise the other.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the principal of the school, Rev. Chris Ugorji, assured that the college is grooming individuals who are balanced in deeds and in thoughts, adding that sports develops team spirit and exhibit generosity in both victory and defeat, adding, “these to me are great values”.
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