An educationist, Mrs Ann Oparah, on Monday urged the Federal Government to accord the same recognition given to other professional fields to teaching which, she said, should be regarded as the mother of all professions.
Oparah, a seasoned education administrator and the proprietor of 21-year-old Brilliant Academy, Agege, Lagos, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reflecting the school’s recent “Career Day”.
She said that teaching as the mother of all professions should not be driven to the back seat, adding that the profession needed to be given the respect it deserves.
“Teaching is a noble profession because it is the mother of all professions. Teaching should be ranked alongside other professional fields such as Law, Engineering and Medicine among others.
“In terms of remuneration, teachers should also earn as much as their counterparts in other professions. We are professionals in our own terms making the champions.
“Many of our children are interested in the teaching profession but because the profession has yet to be given its rightful recognition, they are scared.
“However, recently some students are gradually appreciating teaching as a profession because during our school’s Career Day, held on March 29, 2019, some students, about 20 of them, voluntarily chose the teaching profession,’’ she said.
Oparah, a graduate of Guidance and Counselling from the University of Lagos, said that the society should help in appreciating the daunting task of teachers in molding the society.
“The society should help in supporting teachers because they are the ones that build the society. What we need is to improve on teaching is recognising it as a profession.
“Teaching needs training and re-training to make it better, then we need to create the right atmosphere for the profession to thrive because there will always be demand for teachers,’’ she said.
Oparah urged parents to allow their children to choose careers they are comfortable with and not necessarily imposing a particular career on them which might have negative effect.
“The importance of Career Day in Brilliant Academy, Agege, is for the students to have focus on the choice of their careers. Some students do lose focus on their career of choice later due to interference from parents and peer pressure.
“Parents should allow their children to choose their career and handle their choice path. They need to make up their minds in the aspect of profession they so desire.
“Students should also know that education is the primary choice and not entertainment which should be a secondary choice.
“A student needs to understand that entertainment is not a primary career; they need to have a profession first and then take entertainment as secondary.
“Music may not pay for life, but a chosen career can last long. We need to let the society know that the real career is more important if children want to achieve their desired heights,’’ she said.