The take home of level 7 and 8 teachers is 'nothing' and this is why most of them look for 'side hustles' to augment their salaries.
According to the age-long saying, teachers reward is in heaven and this explains most Nigerians' world-view about teaching.
Teachers aren't expected to be rich because they are civil servants. In fact, the society will judge a level 7 or level 8 teachers who drive certain cars.
In a state like Lagos where teachers are a little happy with their earning, a level 7 teacher (NCE holders) earns N38,000 while level 8 (Degree holders) go home with N48,000 every month.
Only principals are reaping the fruits of their labour among teachers in Lagos. These folks go home with N320,000 on a monthly basis.
For the teachers at the lower part of the ladder, their take home is nothing and this is why most of them look for ''side hustles'' to augment their salaries.
Here are five side hustles secondary schools teachers juggle with classroom work.
When a teacher owns a motorcycle, he does not buy it only for transportation purpose but also for a commercial purpose.
Okada riding is a profitable business in cities like Lagos. On average, Okada riders make N5000 daily. If it is a full-time job, an Okada rider could make money to buy another motorcycle in three months.
Some teachers in a bid to make more money to augment their meagre salary also do Okada between 4 pm till probably 10 pm.
At the end of the day, the teacher would have made some thousands of Naira before he retires to bed.
In rural areas where teachers are not as lucky as their counterparts in the City, our dear teachers resort to farming to make ends meet.
It is not uncommon to see teachers having farming implement in addition to their teaching materials.
Some schools even give their teachers piece of land to grow crops either for subsistence or commercial purpose. This is what teachers in rural communities across the country do to support themselves.
Lottery and Betting is a thing in cities like Lagos and only a few people have not jumped on it. The gambling culture is growing exponentially in Lagos and no street exist without sports betting or Lotto outlet.
Teachers who can not afford to wait to receive their rewards in heaven have joined the business since there is no financial reward in heaven.
They now own Betting or Lottery Shops where football fans and gamblers patronise on daily basis to stake their money on a football team, dogs or numbers.
Any teacher who owns a lottery/betting outlet might not really complain about minimum wage again because he has a side hustle that makes him a boss in his own right.
When a teacher assists a student to get registered for NECO, WAEC and JAMB and also ensure the student gain admission into the University or Polytechnic of his or her choice, it is called 'assistance' or exam runs.
The teacher does not do all that to receive his rewards in heaven. He does that to be paid by the students because it is a side hustle and the more the students the better for the teacher.
It has even become easier now that admission crisis is what admission seekers face after writing POST- UTME tests in Universities and Polytechnics.
Parents pay teachers to do this favour for their kids to make sure they gain admission into universities successfully. And teachers in this form of side hustle too enjoy assisting their students from writing O level exam, through UTME to POST UTME screening.
'Politics is a dirty game' You can not say this to a teacher who sees an opportunity in joining a political party to represent his people.
It is not common to see teachers becoming Councillors or Local Government Chairman in Nigeria but some teachers have given it a shot before and they end up leaving the classroom for a political office.
The former Chairman of Mushin Local Government, Late Olatunde Babatunde Adepitan was a teacher at the Archbishop Aggey memorial secondary school, Mushin.
Teachers also join politics to get special favour from God fathers who may recommend them for political appointments.
Some of these side hustles are in a way contributing to the rots in the education system and the only solution is to review teachers salary scale.
What the teachers earn is absolutely not enough to sustain them and that is why they look for alternatives to keep them alive. Government needs to look into this and save the noble profession from degradation encouraged by side hustles.