The Association of Nursery and Primary Education Instructors in Nigeria (ANPEIN) has advised teachers to acquire entrepreneurial and other employability skills capable of taking them beyond the four walls of their classrooms.
The National President of the association, Mr Simeon Fowowe gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday as the world marks the 2020 World Teachers’ Day (WTD).
NAN reports that the theme for the 2020 edition of WTD is: “Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future”.
The day is globally marked annually on Oct. 5 to recognise and celebrate the works of educators, including caregivers, teachers, researchers, chief lecturers and professors worldwide.
According to Fowowe, teachers need to start learning one skill or the other apart from those of the school system that could fetch them extra income, especially during crises or an outbreak of a pandemic.
“We commend the Federal Government of Nigeria for taking the lead in rescuing teachers from contracting the killing virus.
“They ensured that the coast became clearer before declaring opening of schools and some states; Lagos state especially put efforts in fighting COVID-19,” he said.
Fowowe added that the 2020 theme would address the role teachers played and are still playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The issue of teacher leadership, in relation to crisis responses, it is not just timely but critical in terms of the contributions teachers have made to provide remote learning to the students.
“The discussions expected this year should revolve around the role of teachers in building resilience and shaping the future of education and the teaching profession in Nigeria,” he said.
Fowowe said : “Without any iota of exaggeration, one of the greatest challenges confronting the standards of education is the dearth of quality teachers.
“The dearth of willing, competent, effective teachers in our school system increases every day.
“No doubt, young men and women are not willing to choose teaching as a vocation, rather opting for lucrative courses such as medicine, pharmacy, computer science, engineering and so on.
“However, with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals Four (SDGs4) on education, teachers are recognised as key to the achievement of education in the 2030 agenda.
“Today, we are going to celebrate, mark progress and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession in the country,” he told NAN.
The national president of ANPEIN regretted the many lives that were lost, ruined economies, the many children who became vulnerable and teachers who lost their jobs in 2020.
“Despite all of these, some of our members in the country were monitored during this pandemic and were singled out for their resilience and outstanding performance by ANPEIN Board of Trustees.
“`They will be celebrated and awarded for their hard work to mark the World Teachers’ Day,” he said.