THE Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kwara state has staged a rally to ask that primary education should not be placed under local government administration.
The union, during its rally to the state House of Assembly in Ilorin on Monday, said that if autonomy would be granted to the local government, the primary education should not be included among what would be under the administration of the government.
Members of the union, who carried placards with inscriptions such as “Primary Education is the Bedrock for Every Educational Development”, “Funding of Primary Education Should be Responsibility of State and Federal Government”, and “Our Children Future Must Be Secured”, were received at the Assembly on behalf of the Speaker by a delegate led by the Deputy Speaker, Mathew Okedare.
Speaking with journalists, the state chairman of the NUT, Musa Abubakar, who led the rally, said that local government did not have the capacity to effectively manage primary education.
Abubakar said that the teachers were aware of the public sympathy for the autonomy of local government, adding that they, as members of the community, were not opposed to the autonomy.
He explained that their demand that primary education should not be placed under local government administration was not to kick against the autonomy of the local government but to ensure that smooth running of the education was not encumbered.
The NUT boss asked that salary of the teachers and their other entitlements should be an issue of first line charge in the federal allocation.
He said it became a burden to manage primary education between 1992-94 when the management was left with the local government before a reform reversed the situation.
Abubakar who said that there was a Supreme Court judgement in 2002 that put primary education under the purvey of the state laws expressed. displeasure that states were leaving the education for local government to run.
Speaking on the welfare of teachers in the state, the NUT boss mentioned some irregularities in the promotion and wages of the teachers and asked for the intervention of the House.
The Deputy Speaker, while responding, assured the teachers that the House was on their side on their demands and that it would properly address the demands.
He said the teachers would be invited to state their views whenever the House is assessing the issue of constitution review.
Okedara said that the House would look into the matters raised by the teachers on their promotion and salary.