Thousands of teachers in Ebonyi State yesterday protested alleged plan by the Federal Government to handover payment of primary school teachers’ salaries to local government administration.
The teachers who carried placards with various inscriptions as respect Supreme Court’s judgment on the responsibility of state and Federal Government’, ‘foundation of education in Nigeria under threat’, ‘save primary education from imminent collapse’, ‘funding of Primary Education should be the responsibility of state and Federal Government’ among others said the plan if sailed through, would bring untold hardship to them.
Addressing the teachers during protest, National Deputy President of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kevin Nwachukwu, urged the Federal Government to have a rethink on the plan.
“We do not want the payment of salaries of our primary school teachers to be joined in the autonomy that will be granted the local government.
The Supreme Court judgment of 2012 made it very clear that the management of primary school is in the hands of state governments. “We don’t know why anybody in his right thinking senses will want us to be joined with local government areas.
We know the excesses of our local government chairmen and their administration, they will not remember the teachers, they will prefer to marry new wives build new houses, buy new cars and take care of their girl friends rather than pay us our salaries and that is why we are saying as teachers that no, have your autonomy but allow our salaries to come to states government or let it go through Universal Basic Education Commission direct so that we receive our salaries from UBEC,” he said.
On his part, the state Chairman of NUT, Ozo Simon, said salaries of primary school teachers and other welfare scheme should not be handed over to the local government administration.