NUT seeks transfer of primary school teachers payment to UBEC
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has restated its opposition to local government autonomy that would lead to the scrapping of joint local government account.
The NUT said, teachers were crying out against “the envisaged negative consequences on the management and funding of primary education in the country.”
In a letter addressed to the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, signed by Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya, National President and Comrade Mike Ike Ene, acting National Secretary, the NUT said its position stemmed from the experiences of between 1990 and 1994.
They suggested that teachers’ salaries should be paid from “first line charge from the federation account, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).”
The teachers noted that at the time, “primary education came under the control of local governments, the school system witnessed poor funding and total neglect which led to industrial crises because the local government councils failed to accord primary education the priority of place it deserved.
“NUT is not totally against local government autonomy, but the union is concerned about the likelihood of scrapping the State Joint Local Government Account which would mean taking primary education back to the dark days of pre1994 era.”
They urged the National Assembly to remove teachers’ salaries when it is concluding the local government autonomy issue.
The body noted that at a national executive council meeting of the NUT held early November, in Abakaliki, the management and funding of primary education was appraised and they resolved to draw the attention of Nigerians and the House of Assembly to the development.
The teachers said state governments “have a duty to safeguard the right of every child to basic education and as such would not continue to rely on misplaced and unprogressive policy that ascribes to local government councils an exclusive responsibility for payment of salaries of primary school teachers, which is clearly not in tune with current realities.”
NUT said rather than embark on the policy, government should “maintain status quo and allow the state joint local government account to remain for the sake of guaranteeing the salaries of the teachers.’’