My dad was a teacher in the employ of the then Kwara State Government. He was transferred from the prestigious Government Secondary School, Ilorin to Government Day Secondary School, Takete Ide as the pioneer Principal of my village’s school. It was in 1980 and all of us had to leave the convivial of the alluring Ilorin to the drowsy village temperatures.
He toiled to build the school from the scratch and they started at the then Oyi Local Government Local School Management Board (OLSMB), before moving to the permanent site of the Secondary School some months later.
In 1984, he was transferred to Government Secondary School, Iluke Bunu. Agbara was far smaller than Takete Ide. In 1987, I had to join my dad at Aghara.
Everyday, I saw him teaching hard and at the same time, ensuring students remained discipline and ready to work hard both in the class and on the crop and sports fields.
He was a tough man. He wanted to impact positively on the students.
Discipline is not to a cheap commodity, either to buy or to sell. It takes a deep heart to understand the need for it.
He ended up teaching in many places and we missed him in those days.
My late mum was a different kind of teacher.
She taught with songs, stones and everything.
To her, you must understand what she was teaching.
We were forced to read along, whether voluntarily or forcefully, while she prepared her Lesson Notes. Delectable handwriting, excellent organisation.
And as children of teachers, we were like gods and goddesses. The only reward they got was respect. Their old students showed appreciation for what they hate to get then. I later heard many stories of how their characters moulded generational leaders in education, businesses, medicine and all fields of human endeavors.
Unfortunately, my mum didn’t witness the day that a President honored teachers.
She would be proud wherever she is right now that the saying that teachers’ reward is in heaven has been punctured by President Muhammadu Buhari.
I am an incurable Buharist without apologies.
But I never saw this coming. They said he was not educated but he is now rewarding educators.
He is rewarding those who truly toiled for our nation to be great.
No reward is too big for teachers.
They bake future leaders. They determine the progress of our economy, technology, morality, banking, medicine, agriculture and even our education.
They are the real nation builders.
Mr. President, you have made history once again. It takes a hero to create heroic moments.
You are a hero and this is a historic step to show respect to our great teachers.
Today, I am proud to say Mr President has rewarded the spirits of teachers.
They now know that the nation they served or serve appreciates their patriotism.
With the new salary scale and length of service, teachers’ hopes have been renewed.
But beyond the President’s heroism, the teaching profession must be sanitized. A teacher who is not knowledgeable will end up creating a dangerous class of ignorant people who think they are educated.
His challenge to the Teachers Registration Council to ensure only qualified teachers stand before our generation-next must be respected.
Let the glory return. Thank you my President for giving a place of pride to our teachers.
Teachers build nations.
Kingsley Fanwo writes in from Lokoja