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Nigeria set to hire more teachers

published 5 January 2016 updated 6 January 2016

The New Year will bring a wave of fresh investment in education across the continent of Africa, with significant announcements by some governments.

Nigeria: Teacher numbers to double

The Nigerian Government is going to address teacher shortage by doubling the numbers of contracted educators, according to the National Teachers Union (NUT) of Nigeria. In his Christmas address to the nation, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, announced the recruitment of 500,000 teachers in 2016 to boost the country’s education standards. Around 570,000 teachers are employed in public primary schools, with this number expected to rise to over one million with the round of new contracts.

Investment across continent

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) highlights that Nigeria’s announcement comes amidst a trend of investment in teachers throughout the continent. Both the Tanzanian and South African governments have also spoken of increasing teachers’ wages and numbers.

Kenya: Neglect of education cuts deep

However, in relation to Kenya, the KNUT has highlighted how the country’s public education sector has suffered neglect over the years. This has forced many parents to send their children to private schools, which are mostly manned by unqualified teachers, according to KNUT.

The union accuses the Kenyan government of cutting teachers’ wages, hampering trade union activity, and underfunding the school system. Only 10 per cent of the necessary funding for schools comes from government sources, while the costs of learning materials, food, and teachers’ salaries are expected to rise 30-50 per cent in the coming year.