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NUT cries out over shortage of teachers in Lagos schools, wants urgent action

The NUT Chairman also urged that accommodation be provided for teachers as a lot of them found it difficult to afford to live close to where they teach.

Nigeria Union of Teachers protest in Abuja (illustrative purposes only)

The NUT Chairman, Akintoye Hassan, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

Hassan suggested that the issue be treated with urgency considering the rate at which teachers were retiring in schools without commensurate replacement.

“It is in line with this thinking that the NUT in Lagos initiated and championed the bill for the elongation of teachers’ retirement age from 60 years to 65 years.

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“To our surprise, however, some other states are already implementing similar bills, but Lagos is yet to start.

“Recruitment of teachers needs to be done, to make up for the shortages. Many teachers have retired without corresponding replacements.

“We, therefore, urge the Lagos Government to implement the teachers’ retirement age elongation, it will go a long way to ease the dearth of teachers being experienced in the state,” he said.

Hassan also noted that the “Japa (relocation) Syndrome” was equally affecting the teachers’ population, as a lot of teachers had relocated to countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and other places.

“Most of the teachers being produced in Colleges of Education are not absorbed into the education system.

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“In former days, immediately students finished their teachers’ training, they only filled forms to be posted to schools of their choice to teach.

“The best of development is human capital development, more recruitment of teachers will help teachers to be independent, and the effect will show in schools and society,” he said.

Hassan, however, appreciated the Lagos State Government for its policies on prompt payment of salary, training and retraining of teachers, and school infrastructural development among others.

“To some extent, the government has been engaging in training of both primary and secondary teachers during each session.

“In terms of infrastructural development especially buildings, and furniture, we have overcome the lack of furniture in schools because we do move around to ensure that all students have enough.

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“Some of the schools even have excess of tables and chairs, which were given by the government, organisations, old students association, individuals and others.

“It is such that in some schools, students are now overcrowded in classrooms because more people are migrating into Lagos. The recent economic situation has made parents re-enroll their children from private to public schools.

“We are experiencing a dearth of teachers in schools to meet the demand of overcrowded students in classrooms. We just do not have enough hands,” Hassan said.

The NUT Chairman also urged that accommodation be provided for teachers as a lot of them found it difficult to afford to live close to where they teach, so they stayed outside Lagos.

“We want the government to increase our salaries due to the economic situation, which has affected transportation, foodstuffs among others,” he said.

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