NIGERIAN Union of Teachers, NUT, yesterday called on the federal and state governments to take over payments of primary school teachers’ salaries from the local government councils.
State chapter of NUT marched to the state House of Assembly in protest over non-payment of primary school teachers by state governments across the country.
According to them, the move was to save the primary school which they said is the foundation of learning from total collapse, adding that the present arrangement was not working especially for the masses who are paying heavily to train their wards in private schools.
The nationwide protest follows a directive from the national body of NUT to create awareness on the challenges facing primary education system and to save it from total collapse.
Acting chairman of NUT in Taraba, Comrade Garba Yusuf while addressing the Speaker and members of the state House Assembly said they were not totally against local government autonomy being canvassed for by National Union of Local Government Empoyees, NULGE, but that local government councils in the country lack the capacity to fund primary schools.
“A clause should be provided to increase federation allocation to states to enable them fund primary schools and pay salaries without problems.
“Money for primary school teacher’s salaries should be deducted from the source during federation account meetings and sent to Universal Basic Education Commission for funding and payment of teachers’ salaries in the country,” NUT said.
The teachers who said they don’t want a repeat of the experience of the 1980s when primary school teachers went without salaries for over 12 months, appealed to the House of Assembly as elected representatives of the people to intervene and save the total collapse of public schools.
Responding, Speaker Abel Peter Diah said the House shared the same sympathy with the teachers and assured them that the House would ensure a balance of interest for both NUT and NULGE before a final decision would be taken on local government autonomy