Prioritise teachers’ health, safety, wellbeing, Oyeniyi, ex-NUT chief, urges govt.


By Oluwaseyi Oduneye-Ogunwomoju
Ibadan, Oct. 5, 2020 Mr Wale Oyeniyi, a former Deputy Secretary-General of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has called on government to prioritise teachers’ health, safety and wellbeing in order to develop the education sector.
Oyeniyi made the call on Monday in Ibadan while delivering a lecture. Entitled: “Leading in Crisis: Re-Imagining the Future“ to mark this year’s World Teachers’ Day.
The former NUT chief, while thanking the teachers for their roles during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, canvassed more support for them, especially during times of crisis.
This, he said, would generate new insights into their educational leadership and explore promising policies and strategies that would affirm their leadership roles in emergency education.
“In the face of COVID-19 pandemic, teachers across the globe have had to scramble to help their students navigate the world of distance learning, often without sufficient guidance, training, support and resources.
“In low income countries like Nigeria, many teachers, who have been unable to teach remotely during the crisis, faced mounting concern about income and job security.
“Prioritise teachers and learners’ health, safety and wellbeing. Include teachers in developing COVID-19 or any future pandemic education responses.
“Provide adequate professional support and training, put equity at the heart of education response and include teachers in aid responses,’’ he said.
Oyeniyi said that ways must be found in times of crisis to sustain and nurture teachers’ profession network as well as the relationship between them and their students.
According to him, reliable data on teaching needs, capabilities and gaps in education provisions are essential for effective crisis responses.
The NUT Chairman in Oyo State, Mr Samson Adedoyin, commended Gov. Seyi Makinde for his administration’s giant strides in education and its disposition towards workers in the state.
Adedoyin also thanked the governor for extending the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives to teachers in the state.
The NUT chairman, however, appealed to the governor to ensure provision and even distribution of instructional materials to schools in the state.
He also called for prompt payment of schools’ running grant and backlog of 2019 and 2020 leave grants, adding that he should also address the issue stagnation of promotion since 2016.
Adedoyin said that the governor should revisit the six-year waiting period to grade level 13 and above in primary schools in the state.