The way teachers are treated and what the peanuts they receive as salary in this country is very appalling.
How can you request for a qualified teacher with good credentials and you offer to pay him/her not more than $12 every month?
So I woke up one morning and went in search of a job. After two years of my NYSC. And three years after I graduate from Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (A teacher training institution).
My sister told me that one secondary school in my area owned by one retired Principal of a government school in Abuja was employing teachers.
I submitted my application letter to the school the next day and waited for their response any time soon.
One week later, I got a text message from the school requiring me to come for an interview the next day.
In the text message, it instructed me to come with the original copy of my submitted credentials.
I got to the school the next day and we (those who came for the interview) were directed to the school conference hall where the interview would take place.
The interview was scheduled for 8 am but you can’t believe that for more than three hours we still did not know who our interviewer was.
Around 2 pm or thereabouts, a young lady who I suspected should be in her early 40s came out from a door that had been locked since the prospective job seekers gathered for their interview.
She greeted us and apologized for keeping us waiting. She promised that the interview will start in a few minutes.
It wasn’t more than thirteen minutes until the interview started.
I was the fifth person on the list. When my name was called, I rearranged my clothes and ensured nothing would make me fail the interview.
Once again the young lady greeted me and the interview started.
After she went through my files, she nodded her head like a lizard praising itself for falling from a giant building without breaking a bone.
She said “congratulations”. At this time, I smiled because it was obvious I had gotten the teaching job.
I thanked her and made her understand how pleased I was for getting the job and I also promised to give in my very best.
The lady asked me to start work the next day and that same tomorrow, I shall discuss my salary with the school’s management.
I didn’t have time to start querying why we can’t discuss the payments immediately. All that was in my head was to go home and share with my family the good news.
The next day I reported to duty as early as 6:58 am.
I waited for the management to resume officially for the day so that we can discuss my salary and also the class I would be teaching.
Around 8 am, the principal’s office was open. I met with him and we talked like we have known each other before.
What spoiled the whole happiness was when he told me how much I should be expecting every month.
You can’t believe that this man said that for a start, my salary will be five thousand Naira (below $12).
At first, I thought he was joking not until his expressions made me understand that this man was not anywhere close to joking.
I flamed up. I know that I was wrong this time by raising my voice but how can they be so mean to their teachers? $12 a month? Who does that?
The school makes close to fifty million every month and all they can chuck out for staffers is just 5,000 Naira.
No wonder teachers don’t survive a month in the school.
Yes, I failed to tell you that in the beginning. The school changes teachers regularly as if they were clothes.
With much anger, I grabbed my files and left. The people waiting for me to finish my interview blamed themselves for waiting and expecting to hear the same thing I’ve heard.
The remaining 38 prospective job seekers left with me after they got full details of what was happening.
No one knew how this story got to the ministry of education and the school was suspended from functioning.
When I left the state, the school was still under suspension so I don’t know what finally became of it.
Giving Teachers Peanuts as Salary
Teachers are the backbone of every nation. They are like the house builder who handles the trowel and cement (chalks and pen) to ensure that the blocks/bricks (learners) are orderly placed in their useful places.
Teachers’ salaries shouldn’t be peanuts because they are the opium of civilization.
The salaries teachers get in our today’s society do not justify the level of work they do in the life of every learner.
Teachers are saddled with lots of responsibilities yet they receive peanuts as salaries.
Salaries as Teachers’ motivational factors
What else motivates a worker to continue working if not his/her salary?
A teacher whose salary is fully and duly paid tends to perform better when it comes to carrying out their responsibilities.
Teachers’ salaries are very important to them so it is pointless holding onto them.
The government that refused to pay the salaries of workers is not different from private schools that owe their teachers for more than three months without pay.
In almost all parts of Nigeria, teachers/lecturers go on strike as a way of protesting for their salaries that have not been paid.
Government should not be seen as saints when it comes to teachers’ welfare.
The lack of payment of salaries and as of when due has fueled the high rate of criminality in this nation.
Teachers are supposed to be potters of these children (learners). When their salaries are paid, they get motivated to carry out their teaching jobs dutifully. But if they are owed, imagine what happens to a dog when it is very hungry.
The prompt payment of teachers’ salaries goes a long way in curbing the issue of producing illiterates and criminals in our society.
The teaching job shouldn’t be relegated to the mud. Government and private school owners should recognize the importance of teachers and the big role they play in our society.
A teacher’s salary should be reviewed to ensure that it meets the needs of the teacher.
Not a situation where a one month salary of someone who calls himself a teacher is not able to fit his transportation and feeding bills in a month.