Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Wednesday attended the One Day Training and Sensitization programme on Teachers Competency Framework, declaring that the State is considering the professionalization of teaching to adequately compensate enterprise.
The Governor who spoke at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, venue of the programme added that no teacher should entertain any fear about the intentions of the government as the basic salaries of the teachers would still be applicable to all of them.
“The basic income of teachers would remain but instead of everyone clamouring for the same salary increment, that would be a function of what the person can offer as a professional. Those who improve themselves will always have something to gain”, he added.
He added that what would change is that just as it is obtainable in professional football where members of the same football club earn different match allowances based on their rating and qualifications, additional emoluments for teachers would be based on what each teacher can offer.
The Governor explained further that if for example the state decides that for a particular period of time, its emphasis was going to be on science or Information Communication Technology, (ICT), it would provide incentives to teachers with competencies in such fields so that the teachers may continue to always improve themselves.
Governor Fashola stated that classrooms and beautiful schools don’t teach the children but only committed teachers do, stressing that the State Government has a responsibility to ensure that even private schools are regulated by the government in order to guarantee the quality of competence that goes on in the schools.
He added that the difference between a public and private school is comparable to what is obtainable in a private hospital when compared to a public hospital, stressing that the tendency of finding an unqualified doctor in a teaching hospital is almost zero while there is a possibility of finding an unqualified person running a private hospital.
“The chances that you would find an unqualified teacher in a public school is almost zero but the chances exist of meeting somebody who has no knowledge at all of classroom management running a private school”, he maintained.
Fashola said the issue of competence of teachers have become acrimonious but that teachers must be confident to admit that they have shortcomings if indeed they do have in order to be able to learn, adding that there is no margin for errors in the competence of teachers.
He said the number of teachers at the programme is indicative of the acceptance that competence is not a problem in Lagos State and that the teachers are not against the exercise.
He drew allusion to the order in the animal kingdom, reiterating that everything about them concerns younger animals learning about survival and feeding from older ones just as teachers are expected to prepare school children a for life ahead through learning.
Governor Fashola said improving the competence of teachers is the next investment which the State government intends to make just as it is committed to improving water supply to the public schools through its 60 schools water connection project.
He said as a follow up to the Save-Our- Schools breakfast meeting which held recently, the State has resolved that if any corporate body or organization intends to support education, it should in terms of training teachers in ICT.
He also gave a ray of hope to teachers who have obtained additional qualifications but which they have not been able to tender largely because they never got requisite study approvals before proceeding and that the government will also test its competencies in terms of its educational policies that enable teachers to take more knowledge and for those who have acquired more knowledge not to conceal them.
Fashola also said it is being observed that Colleges of Education are affiliating with some universities outside the state noting that what is desirable is for the various Colleges of Education to affiliate with the University in the state.
He said for example the College of Primary Education at Noforija, Epe can be affiliated to the Lagos State University, Ojo and become a degree awarding institution for Primary Education just as the same can be applied to the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin.
He however pointed out that the skills that are required at the primary education level is different from that of secondary education level and as such teachers may not be able to cross from one level of teaching to another unless affected teachers take additional qualifications which could be in the form of a combined honours degrees to learn about the two levels of education.
Earlier, the Tutor- General and Permanent Secretary District 5, Mrs Mary Iji had given a detailed insight into what the Teachers Framework Exercise is all about, including recommendation on how to make the recruitment process more embracing and all inclusive.
Prominent among those who witnessed the event were the State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, the Special Adviser on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs Omolara Erogbogbo and Tutors General and Permanent Secretaries as well as teachers from all the education districts.