LG autonomy will cripple primary education – NUT chairman
The Chairman of the Osun State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Amudah Wakeel, has said that granting autonomy to local government councils will cripple primary education in the country.
He said this in an interview with our correspondent, on the sidelines of a protest staged by teachers at the State House of Assembly complex in Osogbo, the state capital.
Wakeel warned that teachers’ salaries would begin to suffer as soon as local government councils became autonomous because the councils lacked the financial capacity to fund primary education.
Giving the assurance that the NUT was not opposed to autonomy for the third tier of government, he said its only concern was the problem which might arise as a result of the councils’ inability to pay the salaries of primary school teachers as at when due.
The NUT chairman also proposed that budgetary allocations to states from the federation account should be reviewed upward in favour of the states in order to guarantee uninterrupted primary education in the country.
In the alternative, he said, the salaries of primary school teachers should be paid through the Universal Basic Education Commission from the first line charge from the Federation Account.
He said, “From experience, it is clear that local government councils neither have the financial capacity nor the political will to fund and manage primary schools in the country; therefore, any attempt made to handover primary education to local governments amounts to consigning primary education to the abyss of total collapse.
“It has been observed that primary school teachers are being owed salaries for several months in a number of states ostensibly due to the inability of the councils to provide the fund needed for payment of the salaries, thereby creating situation of demoralisation and hopelessness amongst the teachers. This unwholesome development, which is not likely to abate soon, portends danger for public primary education and the future of the mass underprivileged children in the country.”
He called on the Federal Government to make adequate budgetary allocations to the education sector to enable state government to redouble its efforts to ensure proper management of primary education. punch