Opposition Leader, Mathew Wale advocates for teacher welfare improvement during his debate contribution in parliament on the Education Bill
Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale says teacher welfare represents a critical weakness in the country’s education system.
Speaking on the Education Bill 2023 debate in Parliament today, Wale said there must be reasonable certainty about the teacher’s welfare being taken care of.
Wale said it is clear that the government does not value the country’s teachers.
“We value bureaucrats more than teachers because we pay them more,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said low pay for teachers has plagued the education system for decades yet government responses have been half-hearted, preferring to ignore the need.
He said this Bill would not solve this problem either.
“Teacher pay, housing, leave travel, professional development, among others, are issues that have a disproportionate bearing on teacher morale. Teacher absenteeism, though inexcusable, is a clear symptom of low teacher morale,” he said.
Wale said this has a disproportionate adverse effect on the quality of education in our system.
He said the government has neglected teacher welfare to the great peril of our education system and students.
“What will it take for the government to finally be serious in its attitude to substantively addressing teacher welfare? The solution requires political will,” Wale said.
He said for the teacher to be eager to teach, totally committed to the learning experience of his student, he must not be distracted by the needs of his own family’s welfare.
Wale adds teacher welfare isn’t the only constraint faced by teachers.
He said the relative lack of teaching resources is also a serious constraint.
“Our efforts on this matter have long been inadequate. Of course, a creative resourceful teacher can inspire his students even without teacher resources, as some clearly do,” he said.
The Opposition Leader said this must not be the excuse for the ongoing neglect over so long.
Wale was Education Minister in 2008.
Source: Office of the Leader of Opposition