Knowledge is the most important asset of all nations and inalienable tool of all great people.
The great nations of the world put knowledge in prime place in the scheme of planning and they take special care of the conveyer of knowledge, from facilities to human aides.
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The developed world identifies teachers as window to producing generation of developers and human asset to provoke development.
The school and teachers generate patriotic citizens that will further do everything to lift their nations scientifically, socially and economically.
This understanding informs the way they take special care of teachers.
In the developed climes, teachers are hugely motivated and they work in very good environment and with interesting condition of service.
This is the secret of accelerated development of first world.
The struggling nations of Africa and other communities including Nigeria have tragedy of leadership with leaders who only develop their stomach and not education or care a hoot about the teachers.
The leadership pays lip service to the value of education.
The very negative perspective and dangerous psyche of our leaders in Africa and Nigeria specifically account for the precarious situation of teachers and huge loss in human capital asset and eluding faith in the nation.
Meanwhile, other professions whose roots were found in teaching got appreciation.
I particularly remember nursing profession for salary- enhancement under Gen Yakubu Gowon.
Maybe because Mrs Victoria Gowon was a nurse.
The teachers in Africa work in the harshest condition and situation.
The teachers remain consistently enduring and make intermittent but unattended noise for they care more about the future they are moulding.
The teachers in Nigeria are working for ungrateful society which will rather value a character-deficient entertainer as against rewarding teachers; people whose value are fast collapsing.
They quickly dismiss need to take care of teachers with statement, “teachers reward is in heaven” as if teachers should do and die quickly to access their reward.
Governments year-in, year- out made empty promises and never take step and teachers lost hope that the situation will ever be redeemed.
They resorted to fate and accepted what fortune has placed on them.
This was the pathetic and hopeless situation teachers had been grappling with since 1932 when the teachers got a union.
It was unending struggles for due recognition and better condition of service.
Heaven heard the silent plea of teachers in Nigeria on the 5th of October, 2020, when he sent a ‘Messenger’ in person of President Muhammadu Buhari to them with a memorable proclamation.
The teachers across Nigeria were gathered at the feet of Mr president for what they consider usual annual ritual and cosmetic awards.
The envoy of the president, in person of the Minister of Education, Prof Adamu Adamu, rose to read what we thought was the usual empty annual rhetorics.
Behold, it was not usual rhetorics, it was a response to age long silent pleas. It was a memorable speech.
It was a life-long impacting speech. It was a speech meant to change fortune of teachers in Nigeria and consequently in Africa.
It was unprecedented presidential proclamation. It never happened since 1932, when the teachers’ struggle started.
The entire generations of teachers will forever remember a ‘Messenger’ of hope and liberator of her profession, whose name is Muhammad Buhari, who was once a president of a noble nation, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Idris kehinde ismail, Chaiman NUT Gwagwalada Branch FCT (2015- 2019)