President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, said the Federal Government is ready to engage more qualified teachers to increase the teacher-to-pupil ratio in the country.
Buhari made the statement while receiving the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), led by the union’s National President, Comrade Nasir Idris, in Abuja.
The President acknowledged that Nigeria had a deficit of teachers, which his administration is addressing through the N-Power Teach Volunteers scheme under National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
‘‘We have created a dedicated platform under the National Social Investment Programme called N-Power Teach, which engages qualified graduates to man the gaps of basic education delivery in Nigeria.
‘‘These N-Power Teach Volunteers are deployed as teacher assistants in primary schools across Nigeria to support existing teachers.
‘‘The aim of this, and many other Government programmes, is to increase the teacher-student ratio at the primary school level thereby enhancing the quality of students moving to secondary schools.
‘‘I want to take this opportunity to ask all members of Nigeria Union of Teachers to support these programmes and encourage as many qualified and willing graduates to enrol in the teaching profession,’’ the President said.
Describing the teaching profession as one of the noblest of professions, President Buhari said ‘‘It shapes the character, calibre and future of individuals and nations. You and I were all taught by teachers who moulded our persons and influenced our future. No price is too high for good rewards.’’
‘‘Today, we live in a dynamic world where science and technology drives innovations that virtually touch every aspect of our lives.
‘‘The foundations of today’s changes can be attributed to teachers who, decades ago, in one way or another, shaped the minds of young men and women who eventually grew to become global innovators and inventors from whose works we are benefiting today.
‘‘Nigerians, both at home and abroad, are part of this global breed of impactful change agents.
‘‘Almost everyday, Nigerians are inventing new products or improving existing ones. It is, therefore, our collective duty to continue to encourage and cultivate these minds, by increasing resources available for research and development and improving work environment,’’ he said.