The Committee of Provosts (COP) of colleges of education in Nigeria Wednesday urged the federal government to raise teachers’ salary towards improving enrolment of students in colleges of education.
The national chairman of COP, Professor Johnson Pongori, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the opening of the COP 85th Regular Meeting at Federal College of Education (Technical ) (FCE) (T), Akoka, Lagos.
Pongori, also provost, Adamawa State College of Education, Hong, said the teaching profession could only be attractive for Nigerian youths if teachers’ salary was increased.
“The Nigerian youths of today are only interested in management courses that enable them to make quick and huge money.
“That is why a lot of them are not interested in teaching and this is affecting enrolment in the colleges of education,” he said.
Teachers in developed countries, he said, such as Finland receive similar salary as other professionals in the fields of medicines, engineering and the likes, thus making teaching attractive and competitive.
Pongori said that colleges of education were specialised institutions established to provide qualitative training for teachers who would teach students from creche to tertiary level.
He noted that the teachers were trained to build individuals from cradle into a matured and enlightened citizen, as education was fundamental to the growth of any nation.
The COP chairman said that any serious government should not ignore the teaching profession because teachers produced professionals in other sectors of the economy.
“It is unfortunate that most people at the helm in our government today are those that benefited more from education through scholarship but are not giving back to the sector.
“Education is not what we should joke with because it affects all facets of the economy,” he said.
According to him, an educated and informed population will be projective, focused and disciplined in their engagements.
Pongori however urged the private sector to partner with the government to improve quality of education in the country by providing infrastructure and support in the training of teachers.
The COP Chairman disclosed that the meeting was being held in Lagos to commiserate with the family of the late Immediate Past Provost of FCE(T), Akoka, Dr Sijibomi Olusanya, who died on July 27.
“This is in line with our tradition and to also extend our condolences to his wife, children and family and that is why the meeting was scheduled to hold at FCE(T), Akoka.
“We also give credit to the late Provost and colleagues for piloting the affairs of the college for eight years and moving it to an enviable status,” he said.
In his welcome address, Dr Wahab Azeez, Provost, FCE(T), Akoka thanked the executives and members of the committee for giving the college the right to host the meeting.
Azeez said the college would surely benefit from the wealth of experience of the provosts and would implement decisions reached at the end of the meeting.