FIC Report (Abia State) – Abia State, Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu says Govt is committed to the implementation of a new retirement age of 65 years or 40 years in service for teachers with effect from December 2022.
Dr Ikpeazu who stated this during the 2022 World Teacher’s Day celebration held at the Abia State Teacher’s House, Ogurube layout, Umuahia further announced that Govt has equally reviewed the retirement age of University Teachers and assured that this new policy will help to retain our seasonal teachers and enabled the transmission of knowledge through experience and mentorship of upcoming teachers.
The Governor represented by his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu reassured that the present administration will continue to redouble efforts to see to the welfare of Abia teachers in terms of payment of of salaries and other emoluments as well as give robust motivation to teachers to enhance exemplary performance and charged teachers to ensure that Abia State regains and retain it’s prime position in WASC and other Examinations.
He described this year’s Theme “The Transformation Of Education Begins With Teachers” as very apt and significant, given the strategic and critical roles that teachers play in nation- building and development as well as recognizing the tireless efforts and commitments as basic moulders of characters of children who are the nation’s future leaders.
In his address, the Chairman on the occasion and Commissioner for Post Basic Education, Chief I.C Mark and his Basic Education Counterpart, Chief Ukwu Rocks Emma said Teachers are great people that should be celebrated and reassured that Govt recognizing their importance is working assiduously to ensure that problems confronting teachers are tackled in no distant time.
The State Chairman of the Union, Chief Dimanichie Uwabunkonye has expressed worry over the poor conditions of service for Teachers in public schools in the State.
Uwabunkonye cited some of the challenges facing the Union to include the denial of welfare packages to Teachers and acute shortage of Teachers in the public schools.
He said that the Union uses the annual event to take stock and draw the attention of Teachers to the attachment of global education target.
He described the Theme for this Year’s celebration, “The Transformation Of Education Begins With Teachers”, as apt, “considering the issues of the moment in the State as they affect Teachers”.
He said, “This year’s World Teachers’ Day, therefore, provides us with the opportunity to re-echo our call for Teachers to be provided with opportunities and conducive environment for teaching and learning.”
According to him, the working condition of Teachers is the learning condition of the child.
The State NUT Boss further said that government’s approval of the elongation of service years and age of Teachers has not taken effect in the State.
“Various Education Boards in the State are busy retiring Teachers in their numbers without replacement and our classrooms are empty.
“This is giving opportunity for private schools to thrive in the State, which is against UBEB policy of free and compulsory education at basic school levels.
“The NUT has noted with dismay the acute shortage of Teachers in our schools resulting in unhealthy Teacher-Learner ratio.
“It is therefore calling on the Abia State Government to ensure adequate recruitment of Teachers for effective teaching and learning in our schools,” he said.
Uwabunkonye pledged the determination of Teachers to continue to discharge their duties conscientiously, despite the odds they go through.
“The Union will always wish to dialogue with the government toward making sure that our demands are met,” he said.
The event featured the presentation and redeeming of pledges of 2020 beneficiaries of Car Awards won by Teachers from each Senatorial Zone of the State during last year’s Teacher’s Day celebration by the State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu attracted the presence of Top Govt Officials, Traditional Rulers and Stakeholders in the education sector.