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For The Love Of Teachers

Published by Leadership on Tue, 31 Oct 2017

BY ABRAHAMDANMAKARANTA News that the Nigeria Union of Teachers had actually chosen Kano Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as this years Most Teacher Friendly Governor was the best on the usually frosty and strained teachers-government interface in a long time. It was indeed heart-warming to see the governor receiving the prized plaque from Education Minister Adamu Adamu as highlight of the World Teachers Day event in Abuja. The fact that a governor from the northern states earned such a significant recognition in education automatically elevates Governor Ganduje above his colleagues in terms of focus and performance for good governance.Knowing how our teachers are very critical of the sincerity and commitment of governors in giving due priority and consistency to education especially at the foundation level and being conscious of the persistent plight of unpaid, underpaid and generally maltreated teachers, the singling out of Governor Ganduje for an award by the NUT must be the outcome of sober assessment of undeniable achievement. If any progress is to be recorded in reversing the rapid decline in the quality of our students and the standard of education at higher levels, remedial action must not only begin at the basic level but must have enhancement of conditions of service of teachers as a focal point of action.So since the NUT declared Governor Ganduje most teacher friendly of all the governors in Nigeria, Kano State teachers cannot be among those whose reward are classified as post-humus, accessible only in heaven. Notwithstanding the credibility of the NUT in determining its friends and enemies, it is worthwhile to review some of the policies and programmes that Governor Ganduje initiated and implemented to win the hearts of teachers in Kano State and their national union, if only to lend credence to the genuineness of his singular recognition.It turns out that the governor actually has a distinguishing pre-qualification as a trained and experienced teacher which must have put him in good stead to know best how to resolve the problems facing teachers now coupled with his democratic mandate and executive powers as a governor. The governor obtained a Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE) from Advance Teachers College Kano between 1969 and 1972, attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for a Bachelor of Science Education degree from 1972 to 1975 and got his first masters degree in applied educational psychology from Bayero University Kano. He is also a Fellow of the National Association of Educational Administration and Planning (FNAEAP). Governor Ganduje is therefore actually a teacher-governor, first and foremost, and teacher-friendliness comes to him as second nature!But it takes more than being a teacher to translate governance into best policies and programmes to correct the ills embedded in administering and managing teachers for a brighter future for education. An uncommon insight into the strategic relationship between education and national progress and development is also fundamental as Ganduje himself eloquently captured when he observed that We have been saying, when you have population, you are at risk, your population can be an asset and your population can be a liability and the only factor that can determine which way you go is education. Neglecting teachers is tantamount to turning education into a liability rather than the precious asset is should be.Among the remarkable policies that emerged from a review of the background to the Ganduje administrations teacher-friendly national stature is the unwavering prompt payment of teachers salaries. The governor categorically declared at an interactive session with head teachers and basic education providers in February that Kano State Government is not indebted to primary school teachers as their salaries are paid promptly.In fact the state government was already preparing to take up the notorious problem of stagnation of teachers who serve for ten or more years without promotion as Ganduje announced receiving a report on the promotion of primary school teachers which estimated it will cost the government N490 million. The majority of teachers have since been liberated from stagnation with the mass promotion of thousands of teachers across the state approved by the governor to the ecstatic relief of the teachers.It was interesting also to discover how Governor Ganduje responded to the widespread issue of thousands of unqualified teachers which one governor recently mishandled by deciding to sack them earning the wrath of teachers and citizens alike. Governor Ganduje instead stated that about 25,000 unqualified teachers in the state public primary schools would be retained because we are mindful of the multiplier effect on the unemployment situation. The teachers were in fact enrolled into various NCE awarding institutions to remedy their qualifications.In todays Nigeria, it is almost unbelievable that the plight of long-suffering marginalized teachers can be so systematically redressed by a state government. Obviously Governor Ganduje has made a positive difference by bringing his professional teaching background to enhance his proven administrative sagacity as a strategy for giving teachers their pride of place and commensurate priority to empower them to redeem the future of our education system.Even from these random samplings of background news on Governor Gandujes handling of issues pertaining to teachers in Kano State it is evident that he was well deserving of the NUT award as Most Teacher Friendly Governor because he has demonstrated a keen sense of understanding of the major challenges affecting teachers morale and quality of teaching as well as a focused determination to apply effective and sustainable solutions. This is what Arewa needs urgently! Danmakaranta wrote from Lafia, Nasarawa StateThe post For The Love Of Teachers appeared first on leadership.ng.
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