Akwa Ibom teachers demand respect, due motivation for equal output
Teachers in Akwa Ibom State, especially the younger ones, have issued a warning to the state government that they would no longer tolerate ‘humiliation’ if they want them to take their work seriously.
This warning was issued by the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Etim Ukpong, during the celebration of the 2019 World Teachers’ Day at the weekend.He said that young professional teachers would not accept the current debilitating situation where top government officials fall over themselves trying to be counted at other professional associations’ function.
The NUT chairman lamented a situation where teachers are owed years of leave grants, saying that teachers in the state are owed 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 leave grants; promotion arrears from 2011 till date.
“But they feel demeaned or insulted to be invited to teachers’ programmes. “The young professional teachers may not tolerate such humiliating treatment; and the future may not be better than it is today. And the truth must be told that government’s negative attitude towards the teachers has largely been responsible for society’s lack of respect for the teachers,” he said.
The NUT boss, who asked government to evolve a positive attitude towards school teachers for the society to accord them due respect, urged government to clear outstanding arrears due to teachers such as 7.5 per cent contributory pensions refund to teachers in primary and secondary schools; and delay in the release of teachers’ promotions, among others.
Meanwhile, Governor Udom Emmanuel, who was represented on the occasion by the Head of Civil Service, Mr. Effiong Essien, said his administration would continue to prioritise the development of education and welfare of teachers in his completion agenda because of the cardinal role of education in the development of any system.
The governor said the renovation and equipping of educational facilities, building of model schools, free and compulsory education, payment of examination fees for students, recruitment of more teachers to bridge teacher-students ratio and the recently-held education summit were part of government’s effort at repositioning the education sector in the state.
He also mentioned the payment of subvention, salary, pensions and other entitlements, release of the 2017/2018 promotions, as well as the on-going efforts at clearing the backlog of gratuities as a clear demonstration of his sincere concern for the welfare of his workforce.Emmanuel, who described the teaching profession as the mother of all professions, commended that teachers for their sacrifice and reiterated that his government would address other outstanding issues in the sector. He charged them not to relent in their dedication and mentoring of the young teachers and wished them a happy and rewarding celebration.