A Bill seeking for an Act to extend the retirement age of teachers in the country and for related matters has passed second reading at the House of Representatives .
The bill, which was sponsored by Hon Adekoya Adesegun Abdel- Majid ( PDP- Ogun) seeks to increase the retirement age of teachers in public primary and secondary schools from 60 to 65 years respectively.
While leading the debate at the plenary on Tuesday , Hon Abdel- Majid declared that over the years, teachers had been clamouring for the extension of retirement age.
The law maker pointed out that due to the high rate of retirement without commensurate recruitment , a vacuum was being created in the nation’s public primary and secondary education sector .
He pointed out that most retired teachers still had a lot to offer and were often employed by private schools to tap into their wealth of experience.
He argued that the older the teacher , the more patient and caring he/she might likely become in attending to pupils.
The law maker was of the opinion that the extension would also serve as a viable means of curbing the challenge of low manpower in public schools .
However while contributing, Hon Betty Apiafi ( PDP- Rivers ) argued against the bill , saying that there was a case of generational gap.
She referred to present day school children as “ generation Z” , saying they were computer literate and that 65- year -old teachers might not motivate them .
She stressed the need for the country to return to the drawing board to build manpower that would drive the education sector .
But in his own , Hon Muhammed Monguno ( APC- Borno) said that the extension of retirement age for teachers would attract youths to the profession .
The law maker emphasised the to intensify in the training of teachers saying that it would bridge any gap between the two generations.
He said that the retirement age for judges and lecturers had been increased , adding that there was no need to deny the teachers the same gesture .
After thorough debate by members , the Deputy Speaker of the House ,Hon Yussuf Lasun , who presided over the debate referred the bill to the Committees on Education and Services and Public Service Matters for further legislative action
Meanwhile, the National Deputy President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers , Mr . Kelvin Nwankwo , has said that the union was happy about the development.
Mr Nwankwo who was reacting on the importance of the bill in Abuja said that the bill was very important to the Nigerian teachers .
“ Come to think of it, how many states have recruited teachers in the last five years ? At the end of the day , they will blame the teachers for not doing anything.
According to him, “ In some schools, it is one teacher to 300 to 500 pupils or students ; so there is need to extend the retirement age of teachers in public schools”