World Teachers’ Day: We spoke to 3 Nigerian teachers - here is what they had to say about this noble profession and the challenges that come with it

A teacher for illustrative purposes
  • Today, October 5, 2019, is World Teachers’ Day (WTD) or International Teachers’ Day.
  • It's a day set aside to acknowledge and celebrate these unsung heroes whose contribution in shaping the society is simply not appreciated enough. 
  • We got to speak to three Nigerian Secondary School teachers who shared their highlights and issues with this noble profession.

It’s World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers’ Day this weekend. It appreciates and celebrates all teachers all over the world for their efforts towards shaping the minds of several children. 

In honour of this important day, Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa got to chat with three Secondary School teachers, who shared their reasons for choosing this profession, their best moments on the job and challenges. Here’s what they had to say:

  • On deciding to become a teacher

Mrs Balogun (Economics): I decided to be a teacher because of the reward on earth and hereafter. I’m passionate about it. I have been teaching for 20 years now.

Mr Rafiu (Mathematics): I love dealing with children. I have been teaching for 30 years now.

Mrs Emem (French): It was initially my parents’ choice of profession for me but I fell in love with it along the way. 32 years later, I have accepted teaching as my calling to touch lives positively.

  • On the highlight of their teaching careers

Mrs B: My most rewarding moments are when I see the students I taught in good offices. Some of my old students are teachers too.

Mr R: When I was given my employment letter, when I got my level 17 promotion letter and when I was given the best teacher award in 2006. 

Mrs E: It makes my head swell whenever I come across my ex-students who have excelled in different fields and they introduce me as their teacher. The second highlight was when I received my level 17 promotion letter as a Director of Education in Lagos State.

  • On the best/worst thing about being a teacher in Nigeria

Mrs B: The meagre salary

Mr R: Teachers are nation builders but proper recognition is never really given to teachers by the government, the students and the rest of the society.

Mrs E: On the one hand, people want to hear me speak or write at any given time because they believe in my sense of judgment as a teacher. On the other hand, some people look down on us because of our meagre salary.

  • On teaching in your twenties versus now

Mr R: Teaching was better in the past because teachers had more control over the students.

Mrs E: I was so full of energy in my twenties, therefore I helped out in teaching English, literature in English apart from teaching my subject. The children used to be more willing to learn, but now Zee world and pornography have taken over our students' cognitive space. I believe a parental push is also lacking from home.

  • On the differences between today’s educational system and previous years 

Mrs B: Today’s educational system as a result of technology. Now, we use of computers, whiteboards and markers instead of blackboards and chalk.

Mr R: Nothing to write home about because of the government policies that are formulated in offices with no concern for classroom realities, the students themselves who give priorities to sports/ irrelevant programs on their phones instead of their academics.

Mrs E: Policies are formulated in offices while teachers who face students are not involved in policymaking, unlike in the past. Take, for instance, the commissioner for education who never studied education anywhere formulating laws.

  • On advice for young teachers

Mrs B: Do the right thing because it will surely tell on your children.

Mrs E: Our reward starts here because we are not sure how many will make heaven, therefore, give your best so that the good you do will live with you, your children and generations yet unborn. Happy teachers day!

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