From Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi
Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kebbi State, on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest to Kebbi State House of Assembly against transferring of primary school teacher’s salary and their affairs to the local government councils in the ongoing constitution amendment across Nigeria.
The aggrieved teachers, led by their Chairman, Comrade Isa A. Umar during their protest, told the lawmakers that the Union are not against local government autonomy but the primary school teachers affairs must not be allow to be under Council responsibilities.
The Union, armed with different placards, such as “no teacher, no nation, teachers are the producers of all Profession, funding of Primary Education should be direct from the source, save the education of our children “,among others , insisted that education would collapsed if Local Government are coordinating their affairs.
Addressing lawmakers at the House of Assembly Complex, NUT Chairman, Comrade Isa A. Umar said “ all we are asking is that Primary School teachers affairs, our salaries should not be transfer to Local Government. That is our submission”.
Umar who handed over their protest letter to the Speaker,Hon. Samaila Abdulmumin,represented by the Deputy Speaker,Hon. Buhari Aliero cautioned the lawmakers against approving such portion of the amendment of Nigeria Constitution which would enable local government to supervise Primary schools affairs.
“The renewed agitation for the local government autonomy has made it imperative for Nigeria Union of Teachers(NUT) to sensitise stakeholders and the general public on the danger inherent in the handling over affairs of Primary Education to respective local government Councils should autonomy of local government granted.
“ The awful experience of teachers between 1990 and 1994 when Primary education was left in the hands of local government council will continue to haunt the education industry for a longtime to come.
“Payment of primary school teachers salaries and allowances as well as retirement benefit to retirees was not in the priority list of politicians in the local government councils. Teachers were owed salary arrears for as much as one year”, he said.
The Speaker, who admitted that they have received copy of the constitution sent by the National Assembly, said the lawmakers would ensure that their actions during deliberations on the amendment process do not hurt primary school teachers.