By Philip Yatai
The Australian Alumni Association of Nigeria (AAAN) has called on governments at all levels and relevant stakeholders to invest in teachers with a view to expanding their knowledge and skills.
The association comprises Nigerians who studied in Australia’s educational institutions in different capacities, particularly post-graduate and short courses, either through scholarship or self-funding.
The President of the Association, Mr Abiodun Okunola, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, in commemoration of the 2023 World Teachers Day.
Okunola said that the association joined the rest of the world to celebrate teachers in line with the slogan: “The Teachers we Need for The Education we Want: The Global Imperative to Reverse Teacher Shortage.”
He pointed out that life-long learning for teachers was critical through continuous professional development.
This, according to him, is essential for teachers to stay current with evolving teaching methods and technologies.
“It is pertinent to note that the quality of teachers directly impacts student outcomes.
“When we invest in our teachers, we are investing in the future of our children and our nation as a whole.
“We cannot emphasise, enough, the profound impact that a dedicated and skilled teacher can have on a student’s life.
“We should celebrate our educators and provide them with the tools and support they need to excel,” he said.
He argued that quality education starts with quality teachers, adding that educators must be well-qualified, trained, and motivated to deliver quality education.
He added that the country needs teachers who are not just content experts but also skilled in the art of classroom management and knowledge impartation.
He also harped on the need for diverse and inclusive educators, stressing the need for Nigeria’s education system to reflect the diversity of the country’s society.
According to him, encouraging a diverse pool of teachers can help bridge cultural gaps and provide positive role models.
Okunola added that teachers’ well-being was equally very important, noting that teachers were facing increasing challenges in their roles, self-actualisation, and mental health issues.
“We must prioritise teachers’ well-being to ensure they can provide the best support to their students,” he said.
On innovation and technology, the president said that embracing technology can enhance teaching and learning experience.
He stressed the need for teachers to have access to resources and training to effectively integrate technology in their teaching delivery.
This, he said, was especially important in the current digital-driven world.
“The Teachers We Need for the Education We Want” is not just a slogan but a commitment to ensuring that every child in our country has access to a high-quality education.
“We call upon the governments, policymakers, educational institutions, and communities to work together to empower and support our teachers in their noble mission of shaping the minds of future generations.
“It is instructive to note that educational development has been a key aspect of the Australia Awards Scholarship in Nigeria.
“Our Association, therefore, will continue to collaborate with willing stakeholders towards sustainable development of the Nigerian education sector,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association was established in 2014 to enable Nigerian students in Universities across Australia to interact and share ideas that will contribute to their relationship with Nigeria. (NAN)
Edited by Vincent Obi