President Muhammadu Buhari has said that reviving the Education sector with renewed focus on teaching valuable lessons, like integrity in schools, will require giving priority to the welfare and training of teachers.
He noted that teachers directly create an enabling environment for learning.
President Buhari spoke yesterday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, while hosting a delegation from the Arewa House Centre for Historical Documentation and Research.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (SA) on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President said the quality of training, welfare and happiness of teachers directly impact on the quality of education children and adults get in schools.
He called for more focus and research on impact of teachers.
The President spoke against the backdrop of a proposal by the Arewa House Centre for Historical Documentation and Research to start an annual, Buhari Integrity Lecture Series
If it has to do with integrity, we must go back to history and try to assess the contribution of teachers to education, where teachers treated every child as their own in instilling discipline and sharing of knowledge.
“I have been lucky to be in boarding school for nine years: three years in primary school and six years in secondary school, before I joined the military. And if we are talking of good education, it has to start with the teaching in schools, where children grow in the environment of learning,” he said.
President Buhari said education cuts across the three tiers of government, adding that it is important to consider who pays the teachers at every level.
According to him, teachers need to be adequately compensated to provide quality education.
“We must make education and health a priority relative to the resources available,” the President added.
He said the challenge of repositioning the Education sector and cultivating strong moral values in children goes beyond the northern part of Nigeria, and should be pursued holistically at the national level.
“Your nomenclature is Arewa, but the problem of education is a national issue,” President Buhari said.
He stressed that focus must also be on providing accessible quality education for the privileged and underprivileged, adding: “We will have a better society when education is not for only those who can afford to pay expensive fees in schools.”
The Director of Arewa House, Prof. Idris Shaaba Jimada, told the President that there was a need to inculcate the virtue of integrity that he stands for and has propagated for years as an important aspect of development.
Jimada said the Arewa House Centre for Historical Documentation and Research decided on instituting “The Buhari Integrity Annual Lecture Series” to appraise the President’s position on morality and inspire more people to appreciate integrity as integral to Nigeria’s development.
“Integrity should be taught in our schools as part of civic education, and we are proposing that it starts with you,” he said.