LG Autonomy: Teachers Protest In Delta State
Members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Delta State have held a peaceful rally to declare their stand on the issue of the local government autonomy.
The teachers, during a protest on Tuesday, demanded that funding of primary education must remain the responsibility of the federal or state government through first line charge.
They, however, rejected a bill aimed at transferring the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries to local councils along the quest for local government autonomy and in anticipation that the bill might soon be forwarded to the Delta State House of Assembly
The teachers started the peaceful demonstration at the Teachers’ House in Asaba and marched through the streets of the capital city, chanting various songs of solidarity.
The march ended at the State House of Assembly where the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Honourable Sheriff Oborevwori, and other lawmakers received them.
Speaking on behalf of the teachers, NUT Chairman in the state, Titus Okotie, explained the purpose of the rally and what it seeks to achieve to the lawmakers.
He said: “Let me state here without equivocation that the NUT is opposed to the issue of autonomy for local government councils without separating primary school teachers’ salaries. This is the only way to save the basic and primary education from imminent collapse.”
Other members of the union also decried the non-payment of their salaries which they said ranged from three to five months.
Primary school teachers are being owed salaries in most states supposedly due to the inability of the councils to provide the funds needed for payment of the salaries.
According to them, this has created a situation of discouragement and hopelessness which portends danger for public primary education and the future of the mass under-privileged children in Nigeria.
The NUT said it has a duty to protect the interest and welfare of its members, as well as to contribute its quota to the growth and advancement of education in the country.
Honourable Oborevwori, in his response, said the state government has done well in ensuring that salaries of teachers in the state were paid promptly and that the bill has not been transmitted to the House.
“We will look into the petitions you have brought to the House. We are still expecting the transmitted copy of the bill from the National Assembly.
“We are aware that few states have received theirs but we here at the Delta State House of Assembly have not received the copy yet,” he said.
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