COVID-19 Has Made Me Abandone My Passion As A Teacher To Become A Trader -Primary School Teacher Revealed | Lagos Post Online

COVID-19 Has Made Me Abandone My Passion As A Teacher To Become A Trader -Primary School Teacher Revealed

Eyinnaya Felicia

Everyone seems to have forgotten the effect of this lock down dubbed on the private school teachers. No one knows how beyond difficulty and the untold hardship that crept into the doors of these teachers ever since the lockdown was declared by the federal government from March till date. 

The pending expectations of salary at the end of every month crashed thereby putting them in a hopeless situation. Nothing is as frustrating as when you find yourself in a hopeless situation such as this. 

How to get daily bread becomes difficult and complicated for the teachers. A family that depends on a widow or a bread winner who earns little from teaching in a private school is left with next to nothing than to beg from friends for food. No doubt, this period has been very traumatic for them. 

Perambulating the streets in search of what to do or engage in, in order to make money, some of them took home lessons in an effort to get money to cater for the family. But this move on it’s own remains a punishable offence before the government. Resorting to such will decipher the flouting of lock down directive which states that everyone should stay at home and consciously maintain social distance. 

But who cares??? every one of them is more scared of hunger than they are of the virus. 

When schools are in session unlike their counterparts in public schools. As a result, within the last four months, many of them have turned from being benefactors to dependants. Thus, the recent promise by the Federal Government to pay the outstanding salaries of private school teachers to mitigate the hardship they suffer came as a big relief to the majority of them. 

Speaking to Lagos Post Online was Eyinnaya Felicia, a class teacher at Lisaland Nursery and Primary school in Oshodi said.

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“Covid-19 has done more harm than good to all the teachers, both public and private school teachers but the larger hit was more on the private school teachers.  

No income, coming in and no salary received since April. How are we supposed to cope or survive? 

This situation has forced the hand of the teachers to start resigning their teaching position. Teachers like me have decided to take the initiative of moving into the retail business as well as organize home lessons. Hunger was looming, I had no choice. 

From the look of things, I may have to stick to my business even if school resumes. 

Challenges like this makes teaching less interesting. It is obvious that our government did not value education. 

The children are not learning any more thereby forgetting a lot of the things they have been taught in the past. 

They are currently not learning and no improvement has been made, 

Some parents are not helping matters, they are not even there to guide the children and put them through. 

Even the school owners, proprietor and proprietress and the association are struggling to recoup. It has not been easy. 

Aside from me, some of my colleagues in the same teaching line have gone into trading business and are now entrepreneurs. 

Some found new skills to work with and it has made their mind drift away from teaching. 

We are looking forward to the resumption of schools again in due course. 

So teachers can come back to school again and students on the other hand can know that school still exists because it is obvious that most of them have forgotten about school totally. Even school syllabus has been changed as well.

When you go out into the streets, you will see children hawking on the streets of Lagos. Children who should have been in classes are out on the streets.  

We see a lot of kidnappings daily and child rape cases has increased as a result of this lock down. 

Government needs to intervene because we the teachers and our students are tired of staying at home.” Felicia concluded. 

Government assistance is needed in terms of investing in educational tools of the future alongside a total repair of the educational sector that seems to have been abandoned and forgotten, according to Felicia. 

Reforms in the syllabus nationwide post-pandemic would be an effective way to bridge the gap in inequality. Priorities should include the introduction of courses such as coding, programming and robotics which can usher students into the era of the fourth industrial revolution and prepare them for jobs of the future. 

In countries such as Nigeria, education should be viewed as a high government priority. Help in increasing awareness of the pressing need for the country’s children to be educated, especially those from low-income families, should be able to benefit from the country’s economy in the years to come. 

Children in rural and underserved communities in Nigeria are being left behind as they are not equipped to adapt or transcend to new methods of learning.

The probability of household responsibilities falling on the girls during this lock down increased; the girls were saddled with the responsibility of house chores, assisting parents in their various businesses and more. 

At the end of March 2020, some 743 million girls are out of school and all over the world reports of domestic violence are already on the rise.

Teenage pregnancies also increased and so did the number of abortions as adolescent girls are sexually exploited and are forced to turn to risky strategies to feed themselves and their families. 

Under this lock down, the girl child is feeling bored, frustrated, alarmed and frightened and they need clear information on the pandemic and support to deal with its impact on them and their families.

Vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse both by their peers and older men for the unwilling female and indirect prostitution became the order of the day for the desperate ones as females and their families struggled to cover basic needs. Parents will revert to early marriage, 

domestic violence will be on the rise as young girls will have no safe havens to return to. Women living in conflicted areas are even more vulnerable.  

According to report, “about 3 in 10 Nigerians (26%) disclosed that they know someone who has been raped in the past and the rape victims were particularly minors and young adults aged between 1 – 15 years (72%) and 16 – 25 years (24%) respectively.  

This statistic implies that one in every three girls would have experienced at least one form of sexual abuse by the time they reach 25 years”. 

While we lament over women and girls whose violations occur within the purview of law and order, one wonders the magnitude of rape and other forms of sexual abuses which occur in our various conflict zones. Here, women and girls are easily captured and turned into sex slaves and violated at will.  

It is therefore important for the government to sponsor or plan to air programmes during this lock down to help educate the vulnerable.

Vulnerable girls and other high-risk groups could benefit more from the radios with preloaded content as well as they will be able to follow at their own pace when done with household chores.  

In as much as I don’t want to sound one sided, thereby ignoring the male child, I will like to point out the fact that the majority of the young male has totally embraced the life of cybercrime popularly known as ‘yahoo yahoo’ in their bid for fast cash. 

Unlike China, which has largely shrugged off the reputation of being the producer of substandard goods, Nigeria has gained a reputation for being the haven of online fraudsters, or what are known informally as Yahoo boys. 

However, the same technology that enables cybercrime in Nigeria is also the very tool that can transform the lives of millions of young people in the country. What erring youth need to know is that if they’re technology savvy enough to defraud, then they’re smart enough to build a business online, or even develop apps.  

Having realized that I have digressed a lot, I will be sure that my next write up will be basically on girl child and sexual abuse. 

As for the private school teachers, I just hope the government makes due with their promises of paying them all the salary arrears due to them.  

It is also obvious from what Felicia told Lagos Post Online that the government has largely neglected the educational sector and that is why most of our compatriots seek refuge abroad. 

But we hope the present health crisis makes them see their errors so they can make amends. 

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