President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has thrown it’s weight behind calls to jack up the retirement age for teachers from 60 years to 65 years to allow for further improvement in the standard of basic and secondary education in the country.
The minister of education, Mal. Adamu Adamu, made this known yesterday at a public hearing on the need to insulate teachers from the retirement age for public servants organized by the House joint Committee on Basic Education and Public Service.
Adamu informed the House joint committee that the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) had submitted the new retirement age proposal to the ministry and the National Assembly for approval.
He added that the drive was based on the need for better performance by teachers and the desire to have quality teachers in the nation’s schools.
“Nigerian teachers to some extent require a reasonable retirement age like their counterparts in India, Canada, Belgium that have increased the retirement age for teachers to 65 years.
“We are appealing to the House to approve the bill because the ministry is in support of increasing the retirement age of teachers,” the minister added.
Speaking at the hearing, Chairman House Committee on Basic Education, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, said that the bill being considered for passage seeks to absolve teachers from the public service rule which sets the retirement age for government workers at 60 and peg a new retirement age of 65.
“Teachers are the bedrock of any nation and as such their wealth of experience must be tapped to enhance the wellbeing of society.
“How long should we tap that knowledge legitimately in the school system is the question we except to answer today?” Mohammed said.
Mohammed also informed that apart from the bill to extend the retirement age for teachers, the House committee is also considering to amend the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria to strengthen its regulatory powers to promote professionalism and eradicate quacks.
Also, the Deputy Chairman House Committee on Public Service, Hon. Adekoya Adesegun AbdulMajid described teachers as professionals who lay the foundation for a nation’s economic, technological and social development.
AbdulMajid not that the more years a teacher spends on the job, the better he delivers his service to the learners based on experiences gathered over the years and the wisdom of age.
“The older the teacher, the more caring and tolerant he is to the students with improved dexterity in the pedagogy of teaching required over time,” he added.
Stakeholders who also supported the passage of the bills include: the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Nigerian Teachers Institute (NTI) and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).