By GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos
There are indications that the nation’s teachers will benefit from a free education programme at tertiary levels when the All Progressives Congress (APC) takes charge of the running of government come May 29, 2015.
Nigeria’s Vice President-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who gave the hint during a consultative meeting with members of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Lagos on Wednesday, said continuous education for teachers was one of the core programmes of APC to raise standard of education in the country.
Osibanjo emphasised that the administration would guarantee regular teacher training, noting that education and health would receive priority attention in Buhari’s administration.
The professor, “If you look at our manifesto, we would spend a lot of time and money on public education that is why this consultation is very important but it is just the beginning of the series of consultations that we intend to have. Fortunately, I am from here, I am one of you and this means there will be direct access which will make it easier for us to do all we want to do.
“Lagos is the mode of what we intend to do. For instance, we talk about free education for science, technology, engineering and maths and free education at the tertiary level for teachers. So teachers who want to go to university will enjoy free education.
“It is a very important programme because one of the basic problems we have is the fact that we have not been able to continue effectively with teacher training.
“So, continuous education for teachers and teacher training in particular is very important to us. It is important for us in Lagos to know that we are a very important part of what the Federal Government will do in education.
Osinbajo also said as part of efforts at improving the welfare of teachers and other workers in critical sectors of the nation’s economy, the Federal Government would be embarking on housing scheme nationwide.
He said, “Many have talked about the welfare of teachers which is very important, but this is always tied to funding just as welfare of other workers. But, one of the crucial things we want to do is housing.
“I think we need to be able to work together with the Federal Government on the issue of housing for teachers. We have a big housing policy but our housing policy is going to be based on first and foremost on those in the critical sector of the economy and teachers have been identified as one of those in the critical sector for housing.
“I want us to be extremely well positioned for it. We need to understand that four years is a very short time and we need to be very organised to take advantage of it.”
Earlier, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola said Lagos State has made a lot of progress in education haven moved from 10% performance to 50% performance.
He said the state was able to record the achievements it has made in the sector owing to his effective implementation of EKO Project.
He appealed to Lagosians to turnout in large number on Saturday April 11 to cast their votes for APC candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode and other candidates of the party, saying the election is not about ethnicity or religion but performance and continuity.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in the state, Mr. Adesegun Raheem had praised Governor Fashola for fulfilling all his promises to teacher in Lagos State.
He urged the Federal Government to invest more in teachers to guarantee developmen added that one of the ways to invest in teachers is making teaching profession very attractive.
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