Thursday, 19 February 2015

Nigerian Union of Teachers’ Code of Professional Ethics

In 1969, the Nigerian union of teachers (NUT) formulated professional code of ethics for Nigerian teaching profession. The main purpose of the ethics is to regulate the behaviour of teachers. Ethics is the study or the science o morals. It is the rules or principles of behaviour. It has to do with moral uprightness in dealing with others. When
applied to a profession, it refers to moral principles or rules of conduct or social control mechanism that governs the actions of members of an occupation. Ingvarson (1998) state the ̳Ethical conduct deals with the standards of right and wrong in the relationships between the professional and his client. The professional code of ethics stipulates rules and regulations which are intended to guide and regulate the conduct of the members of the profession.

The teaching profession code of ethics consists of the rules of conduct. The code of ethics can be divided into five major principles or areas outlining the teachers‘ commitments to students, parents, community, employer and to the profession.

In the preamble to the code of ethics, NUT emphasised as follows:
We members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers believe that whoever is teaching as career assumes the obligation to conduct himself in accordance with the ideal of the profession. As a guide for the teaching profession, we members of the NUT have adopted this code of professional ethics and since all those engaged in education in Nigeria should be members of a united professional body, the basic rules of Conduct and regulation enumerated herein shall apply to all persons en-aged in the profession at the primary, secondary and college levels.

The five major principles as enumerated by follows thus:

The first principle is the commitment to the student. The primary obligation of the teaching profession in Nigeria is to guide children, youths and adults in the pursuit of knowledge and skill to develop healthy attitudes and enable them live in harmony with all other Nigerians, and to become happy, useful and responsible citizens. The ultimate strength of the nation lies in the social responsibility, economic competence and moral strength of individuals.

The second principle is the commitment to parents. It goes thus:

We members of the teaching profession share with parents the task of shaping each student‘s behaviour towards socially acceptable ends. We share with all other citizens‘ responsibility of the development of development of sound public policy. We are accountable for participating in development of sound educational programmes and policies and of interpreting them to the public.

Teaching is dependent upon the healthy relationship with the home and the community.

The third principle is commitment to the community. Teaching profession in Nigeria occupies a position of public trust involving not only the individual teacher‘s personal conduct, but also the interaction of the school and community.

Education is most effective when these many relationships operate in a friendly cooperative and constructive manner.

The fourth principle is commitment to the employer. The members of the teaching profession in Nigeria are inescapably 1nvolved in employer—employee relationship. For the purpose of fulfilling our obligation to our students the Slate and our nation, employ—employee relationship should be so regulated that there shall be mutual respect, understanding and good faith.

The fifth principle is commitment to the profession. The teaching profession is a unique occupation and we believe that the quality of the services of the teaching profession in Nigeria directly influences the future of the nation and its citizens. We the members of the teaching profession in Nigeria must strive to give our best to the nation by making the teaching profession attractive so as to encourage persons worthy of the trust to take up teaching as a career. Aware of the value of united effort, we contribute actively to the support planning and programmes of professional organization.

‘Apart from the code of ethics formulated by the Nigerian Union of Teachers t
he Federal Ministry of Education (1987) published a code of conduct and guidelines for the teaching staff in the Nigeria teacher‘s‘ service manual.

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