A new dawn of celebrating teachers with improved welfare


Diri understands the plight of teachers in primary and secondary schools as well as lecturers in tertiary institutions; and he has promised to proffer a long-lasting solution to make the teaching profession an enviable one in Bayelsa State

By Robinson Agaga

Today, countries mobilise their resources to a great extent to obtain quality human capital because the development and progress of a country depends on quality of manpower. The attainment of quality of manpower is closely related to the success of the teachers. This is why the teaching profession is the task that requires the most work, sensitivity and responsibility.

Teachers are saddled with the responsibility to teach in the society. Their role is so important that it cannot be relegated to the background. They are the bridge that connects the past to the present and present to the future.

Everyone in the society, regardless of the position attained, has in one way or another benefited from teachers. In other to appreciate the effort of teachers globally, The World Teachers Day was born.

It’s an international day held annually on October 5. Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and conditions of teachers around the world.

It centres around “acknowledging, evaluating and enhancing the instructors of the world” and to give a chance to consider the issues identified with educators and the teaching process in general.

The pace of development of a nation is tied to how well the people are educated, the level of education available define how well they utilize global knowledge in their various areas. Governments in Nigeria and across all continents invest in the educational sector to ensure teachers are taken care of because the existing quality of education is dependent on how well they fare.

But it has been all good news for teachers in Bayelsa State since the inauguration of Senator Douye Diri as Governor of the state. Governor Diri started his career as a teacher and taught in several government schools in the rural areas in the Old Rivers State before delving into politics.

So, he understands the challenges faced by teachers and their demands. He recognises the fact that if the youths are properly educated they will engage in meaningful activities that will build the state instead of engaging in crimes.

When he served as the Executive Secretary, Centre for Youth Development which included developing the social consciousness of Bayelsa youths, preparing them to be ready morally and physically to contribute positively to the society, Diri learnt how important teachers are in the process of state-building.

He has noted that his administration will not relent but will continue to make more investment in the educational sector to motivate teachers, promote literacy and to positively shape the future of children in the state. He believes that no society can grow above its level of education. According to him: “If you think that education is not important, then try ignorance”.

This is why he has made it a priority in his government to address the challenges faced by teachers in the state. Salaries are paid promptly as well as arrears of wages to make teachers focus on the business of dispensing quality education to children both in the class room and other informal settings.

Teachers’ contribution to the growth of the society deserves encouragement. They require support in the area of research and training. Government and all stakeholders in the educational sector should invest more on teachers’ capacity and training.

In other to ensure that both teachers and student are protected from the COVID-19 pandemic and also make sure the learning process is not disrupted, Governor Diri launched a train-the-trainer programme which is geared towards equipping teachers with safety measures required in schools in order to keep the protocols and guidelines to prevent students and teachers from contracting the virus as schools reopen. According to Diri:

“We are here to train key stakeholders in the school system and in the health sector, which will now extend the same to their colleagues. That is why it is tagged Train the Trainer. This is the only way to check community transmission in our state.”

Technology is a major wheel of the world economy; it has redefined the way things are done in all sectors globally. Its application cuts across all sectors: agriculture, forestry and fishing, manufacturing, processing, IT, tourism, banking.

In order to ensure the ICT ecosystem is effectively utilised, Gov. Diri on Wednesday, 26 August, 2020 signed the Information Technology Development Agency Law. According to David Peterson:

“There is no such thing as a leap into literacy”. So, Diri is keen at creating a bridge that will lead many from the rural areas out of illiteracy to the light where they will be able to make informed decisions to better their lives.

Technology ushers in fundamental structural changes that can be integral to achieving significant improvements in productivity. Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new model of connected teaching.

This model links teachers to their students and to professional content, resources and systems to help them improve their own instruction and personalize learning.

In several briefings, since inception, Governor Diri has expressed how much he understood the plight faced by teachers in primary and secondary schools as well as lecturers in tertiary institutions.

And he has promised to proffer a long-lasting solution to make the teaching profession an enviable one in Bayelsa State. Having served as Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Deputy Chief of Staff, Principal Secretary to the Governor, Member of the Federal House of Representative and Senator of the Federal Republic, Diri can be described as a man who understands the prevailing challenges.

But he appreciates where we ought to be as a people, and so is unrelenting in his efforts to see that the dreams of the founding fathers become a reality.

*Agaga, civil servant, wrote from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State


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