LG Autonomy: Teachers stage protest in Katsina
Hundreds of teachers yesterday took to the streets in Katsina state to protest a proposed handing over of primary education to Local Government Authorities following the drive for Local Government Autonomy.
The protesters, who moved round major streets in the state capital, carried placards with inscriptions like ‘Local Governments do not have the Capacity to pay School Teachers’ Salaries’, ‘Save Primary Education’, ‘Basic Education is a Right and must be Protected by all’.
Speaking, state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Siridi Hassan Dayi said the union was not in support of proposed handing over of primary education to the local government councils.
Dayi spoke shortly after leading the protesters to Government House and state House of Assembly. He said while the union was not totally against local government autonomy, it was however concerned that the joint local government account could be scrapped in the process, which would mean taking primary education back to the pre-1994 era.
He said that when primary education came under the control of local governments in 1994, the school system had witnessed unprecedented period of poor funding and total neglect.
He also said that the local councils failed to contribute their mandatory 15 percent of the teachers’ emolument to the pension fund meant for the payment of teachers’ pension and gratuities.
Dayi said inability of the local councils to provide funds needed for payment of salaries led to the problem of primary school teachers being owed for months in a number of states.
He called on the state government to take over payment of salaries to primary school teachers and the federal government to review upward, the allocation to states from federation account.