President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday tasked the leadership of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to encourage qualified and willing graduates to join the teaching profession.
President Buhari, who made the call when he received in audience the leadership of NUT at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the Federal Government would soon engage more qualified teachers in order to increase the teacher-to-pupil ratio in the country.
The President in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, also paid tribute to teachers who had been at the forefront of cultivating young minds to be innovative and inventive.
He acknowledged that Nigeria had a deficit of teachers, saying his administration was addressing the problem through the N-Power Teach Volunteers scheme under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
He said: “We have created a dedicated platform under the National Social Investment Programme called N-Power Teach, which engages qualified graduates to man the gaps in basic education delivery in Nigeria.
“‘These N-Power Teach Volunteers are deployed as teacher assistants in primary schools across Nigeria to support existing teachers.
“‘The aim of this, and many other government programmes, is to increase the teacher-student ratio at the primary school level thereby enhancing the quality of students moving to secondary schools.
“I want to take this opportunity to ask all members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers to support these programmes and encourage as many qualified and willing graduates to enroll in the teaching profession.”
He described the teaching profession as one of the most important fields in the world.
The President added: ‘‘It shapes the character, calibre and future of individuals and nations. You and I were all taught by teachers who moulded our persons and influenced our future. No price is too high for good rewards.’’
‘‘Today, we live in a dynamic world where science and technology drive innovations that virtually touch every aspect of our lives.
‘‘The foundations of today’s changes can be attributed to teachers who, decades ago, in one way or another, shaped the minds of young men and women who eventually grew to become global innovators and inventors from whose works we are benefiting today.
‘‘Nigerians, both at home and abroad, are part of this global breed of impactful change agents.
‘‘Almost everyday, Nigerians are inventing new products or improving existing ones. It is, therefore, our collective duty to continue to encourage and cultivate these minds, by increasing resources available for research and development and improving the work environment.”
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