Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institution (ASSBIFI), has called on Federal Government to implement compulsory free Universal Basic Education Act, 2004.
ASSBIFI President, Comrade Oyinkan Olasanoye disclosed this at the 2017 world Teacher's day organised by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools of Nigeria (ASUSS) and Basic Education Staff Union of Nigeria (BESUN) held in Lagos.
Reacting on the theme "Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers", she emphasised that the Act that specifies that all Nigerians below the age of 17 is entitled to a free educational system should be implemented.
It would be recalled that the Act provides for compulsory, free universal basic education for all children of primary and junior secondary school age in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It further seeks to provide punishment for parents for failing to comply with its provisions.
Comrade Olasanoye maintained that the Act was put together since 2004, saying there should be an assessment to all the Acts that affect educational system in Nigeria.
She opined that for Nigerian teachers’ job to be appreciated, the government must provide adequate tools, stressing that pupils still receive lectures under dilapidated classrooms which need urgent renovation.
According to her, teachers are appreciating what governments are doing but they needed to be upgraded to today's standard and for quality education.
In his contribution, former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, Alhaji Muhammed Olagbaye said it is unfortunate those at the helms of affairs don't celebrate teachers despite the fact that they were being though by teachers.
“If Nigerian government want to improve education in Nigeria, they have to celebrate and take care of teachers. It is a national problem that teachers are not celebrated", he said.
The State President, ASUSS, Comrade, Kazeem Alabi Labaika in his speech urged the state government to always involved teachers in curriculum development.
He also called on the State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule to quickly as a matter of urgency reverse the promotion examination of SS 2 and screening exercise of SS 2 to 3 to the third term as it was being done before because according to him it always disrupts the curriculum of the first term.
On the achievement of ASUSS, he said the union was able to embark on housing scheme, affordable health insurance scheme and seminar on empowerment.
Acting State President, BESUN, Comrade, Olusegun Titus Faribido urged the state government to make teachers' retirement benefits ready within six months of retirement.
According to him, teachers do not deserve to be treated with contempt or disdain or second class citizens in the country that is why the government should treat teachers specially.
He added that the shabby treatment of teachers of all cadres of the teaching profession robs education and the teaching profession of their traditional pride, dignity. And honour. "It is as if a tragic war has been deliberately waged against teachers in Nigeria.
"The government must face the challenge squarely and take all the necessary steps to redeem the image of teachers' salaries and condition of service including the office or classroom environment as well as our retirement benefits which must be competitive in the economy."