By Kehinde Oluwatayo
The Ondo State Government has been urged to expedite action on the approval of the new retirement age of 65 years and extension of service years from 35 to 40 years for teachers in the state immediately the bill becomes law to enhance teaching and learning in the state.
Speaking on the issue, Principal of Ejioba High School, Obaile, Dr Toyin Olobayo charged the state government to work on it and ensure approval is given at the state level for the benefit of all stakeholders in the education sector in the state.
According to him, the earlier the approval is given at the state level the better for everyone as it will help in the development of education in the state.
Olobayo who doubles as the Secretary of Parents Teachers Association PTA in the state said that the president was applauded over the approval and added that approving it in the state will spur teachers to do more.
His words: The approval will allow more experienced teachers to remain in the job thereby enhancing the value of education in Nigeria. Parents, teachers, students and even government will benefit from it as it will bring development to teaching and learning in our schools.
Olobayo stated that not implementing it at the state level will make the teachers feel they are cheated.
While saying it will not disturb the employment of new entrants in teaching profession, he said almost all schools in the federation lack teachers and that as the population of graduates increase, so also the population of students is growing.
He posited that if lecturers who teach the adults could remain in service till 70years, teachers will still be productive at 65years.
On his own, State Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Comrade Tajudeen Balogun said the gesture was received with mixed feelings.
According to him, “a school of thought believes that the step will prevent young people from coming into the profession another school of thought believes that it is a way of keeping the experienced ones in the job.
Balogun who said his union has no opposition to it since it is a gift from the Federal government opined that instead of extending years of service, retired officers’ gratuities should be paid on time.
He said it takes a responsive government to provide employment for younger ones and advised teachers not to lose sight of the fact that some day, sometime they will leave the service.
A teacher in the state who craved anonymity said the gesture will keep experienced teachers in the service and will enhance teaching and learning in the state.
She however said that government should have implemented the special salary scale for teachers instead of extending their service years.