Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

From TCNEWS

It was a harvest of positives as teachers, some of whom are yet to be captured in the retiree database in Abia State got various interventions during a Thanksgiving and Skill Acquisition event of the ART-FORUM  held in conjunction with Initiative for Grassroots Interventions and Development in Education, an Aba-based NGO which advocates equal educational right to every child.

Speaking at the Aba Town Hall during the event, the Coordinator of ART-FORUM, Mrs. Eunice Egbuna, called on the state government through the Ministry of Agriculture to assist the Forum to empower more members with quality farm products and capacity building programmes.

Egbuna who also espoused and expounded the theme of the event, “Abia Retired Teachers, Now and in the Future”, harped on the need for retirees to always stay sound in mind, keep in touch and join the Forum as there are many benefits to it, especially given that post-retirement life, which usually leaves old citizens suffering cognitive impairment or any other old age syndrome.

“The ART-FORUM, is a registered body  whose membership is open to all retired teachers whose active years were spent in service. 

“The  ART-Forum, since last year’s founding and inauguration, has kept growing in membership, becoming a rallying point and a source of reunion for former colleagues post-retirement”, Egbuna stated, even as she called on other retired Abia teachers who are yet to join the Forum to do so without hesitation. 

Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. C.C. Nwogu, who loves to be identified as ‘the son of a headmaster,’ urged retired teachers to always reach out, checking on each other as such will enhance longevity, especially in the present era of economic uncertainties, contraction, soaring inflation, and food crisis that is not letting up.

He emphasized his happiness in joining the teachers on such a momentous day and pledged to always be there for the Forum.

He berated past administrations in the state for instituting discriminatory practices which denied teachers, both active and retired, salaries, pensions, emoluments and other perquisites.

He maintained that no nation can survive without teachers, especially in the 21st century. 

The high point of the event came with two lectures that unpacked a healthy lifestyle for retirees, management of age-related conditions post-retirement years, especially with retirees not being pensioned until recently.

There was equally an explosive skill acquisition section, where retired teachers were taught the basic things required for fish, poultry, snail, livestock and other forms of farming.

The retired teachers, overwhelmed with curiosity, indicated interest in joining one form of skill acquisition class or the other at a discounted rate offered by the resource person.

Two resource persons who spoke before the guests in intellectual presentations, prepared the teachers on how to face – and not fear – retirement, an inevitable phase in life. Prince Eugene Uzoma Nwaoha, Ph.D presented his paper ‘ ‘Abia  Retired Teachers, Now and in the Future.’

Dr. Clement Nwaemem, CEO Greenfarm Global Network Ltd, also the President of Igbo Farmers Association of Nigeria handled the skill acquisition class.

Dignitaries like: Dr Ukoh Okoh Igbokwe, an eminent educationist, lawyer and ART-FORUM’s legal adviser; Chief Magistrate Elekeson Eleke; among others attended the history making event.

After a successful outing, teachers had time to dance and gave thanks to God.

By NWAMARA

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