After the publication of a previous article, Teachers’ Professional Exams (The Tide newspaper, Friday, October 18, 2019), a reader demanded to know if there is a professional code of practice for Nigerian teachers.
Although answers and directions were given to the inquirer, it is necessary to make the information available to the reading public. It is also necessary to say that Nigeria is not a reading society, culture of reading, including reading of newspapers.
Yes, a code of professional ethics exists for educators, including journalists too. For the professional teacher, better known as the educator, the code is drived from what is commonly known as the Learner-Centred doctrine, of which there are two parts, namely: commitment to the learner and commitment to the profession.
The educator’s roles include helping the learner to realise his potentials to an optional level, as a worthy and effective member of society.
This would include stimulating the culture of inquiry, the pursuit of knowledge not for the sake of money, but for a thoughtful formulation of worthy goals in life. The fulfilment of these noble roles and obligations to the learner demands the followings from the educator:
Giving the learner a free hand and independent action in the pursuit of knowledge; giving the learner access to various points of views and not deliberately suppressing or distorting the subject matter relevant to the learner’s progress; making all reasonable efforts to protect the learner from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety, not intentionally exposing the learner to embarrassment or disparagement; avoidance of discrimination towards the learner based on race, colour, creed, sex, national origin, marital status, political or religious beliefs, social or cultural backgrounds or sexual orientations.
These would include not unfairly excluding any learner from participating in any program or deny benefits to any learner, by granting special advantage to any while denying same to another. Non-use of professional relationships with learners for private gains and non-disclosure of information obtained in the course of professional services, unless such disclosure serves compelling professional purposes or is required by law.
With regards to commitment to the profession, the educator is to uphold the ideal of public trust and responsibility, demanding the highest professional service. The quality of services of the profession which directly influences the learner, demands that the educator strives to raise the standard of education as well as provide a healthy climate for effective learning.
Professional conduct and judgment should be such that would attract people worthy of trust into the career of teaching.
In fulfilment of such obligations, the educator should not make false statements about his qualifications or competence in his application for a teaching job. Neither should he assist entry into the profession of a person known to be unqualified in respect of character, education or other attributes.
The professional educator should not disclose information about colleagues or students obtained in the course of professional services, unless such disclosure serves compelling professional purposes, or is required by law.
Vital in the professional code of conduct for the teacher is the requirement of not knowingly making any false or malicious statement about colleagues. Thus, the principle of collegiality does stipulate internal discipline among a work force, such that efficient team work can be enhanced.
Efficiency in teaching as a profession places emphasis on co-operation, motivation and commitment to service.
However, there has been a lingering controversy whether or not teaching is a career or a profession.
Establishment of Teachers Registration Council has the purpose of professionalising the career of teaching, demanding that teachers be registered. Apart from the initiative by the Federal Government of subjecting teachers to a professional examination, there is also a nationwide move that all those engaged in teaching, up to university level, should have some professional training in education.
What will follow the registration of professional teachers would be the licensing of professional educators.
Like in journalism, there are freelance practitioners in teaching jobs whose names are not in the Registers of the respective Councils. There are old, recognised and closed professions such as Law, Medicine, etc.
A layman would not perform surgery or defend an accused person in court, but anybody can write and teach without anyone asking for your licence to do so. Quite soon, there would be protective guilds and litigations on who does what and why. So far, charlatans can do a number of things and get away with their claims, but that may stop soon.
This is moreso because political gamblers, jobbers and gangsterists have done this country grievous and incalculable harms. Education is a noble profession which includes those who write, speak, etc, for the purpose of the masses. Politics, as an instrument of large-scale piloting of human affairs, cannot be a game of groups of gangsters who use money, shenanigans and brute force to control the fate of a nation.
A rebuilding and cleansing process which is an on-going global movement would root out charlatans, hustlers, gamblers and gangsters in every field of human endeavours. We shall be free from those who hold humanity hostage by force.
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.
RSG’s Medical Scholarship Producing Quality Health Professionals, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the medical scholarship offered to Rivers students by his administration was a deliberate policy intended to produce well-trained professionals that would enhance quality healthcare delivery beyond the state.
The governor made the explanation at the 4th Matriculation ceremony of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Elelenwo in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, last Friday.
Wike stated that in the last three years, 100 Rivers students were awarded scholarship yearly to study medicine and other related courses at PAMO University, which was creating access to education for most indigent students.
He said the state government was impressed with the Founder and Pro-Chancellor of PAMO University, Dr. Peter Odili, for the establishment of the institution that has developed within a very remarkable time to be a centre of excellence in medical education with adequate capacity to produce medical doctors, pharmacists, medical technologists, and other healthcare professionals for the state and the country.
Wike said that such initiative by Odili, and indeed, any Rivers indigene, was worthy of support from the state government.
To this end, he announced additional N500million grant to enable management of the university to put in place the necessary educational infrastructure.
“We have decided to further support the growth and development of this university with yet another grant of N500million only. As we all know; the promise of education is better life just as no healthcare system can be effective without adequate number of qualified and skillful medical doctors and other related professionals, which our state, Nigeria and the world over are in dire need of.
“This was the reason we instituted the special scholarship scheme to cater for not less than 100 indigenous students of this university yearly for five consecutive circle of admissions with effect from the very first set of students.
“This special scholarship programme has covered four admission circles and benefitted 490 Rivers State students who are pursuing various medical courses in this university from inception to date.”
Wike observed that if Odili, a former governor of Rivers State, did not establish PAMO University, all the students that matriculated, last Friday, and others who were already at different levels of their studies, would not have had the chance to pursue their educational dreams due to the admission crisis that continues to plague and frustrate the immediate transition of most youths from secondary to tertiary education.
The governor enjoined all the 490 Rivers State students, who are benefiting from the scholarship and others, to be diligent and committed to hard work in order to achieve academic success.
In his address, the Founder and Pro-Chancellor of PAMO
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