Be responsible, take up funding of primary education — NUT tells state governments

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[Abuja]–The National body of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has called upon State governments across the Federation to take upon themselves the funding of primary education, as against its funding by local government councils.

The body which spoke through its Secretary-General, Mr Ikpe Obong, made this known during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday.

Mr. Ikpe said that State governments in Nigeria have often ignored the provision of the constitution, forgetting that local government councils are only supposed to partner or assist the state in funding primary education, and not funding it completely.

He mentioned that recruiting teachers for primary education has become a problem, due to paucity of funds which hinders effective payments of salaries of teachers.

He argued that for the sake of equal treatment, salaries of primary school teachers should be paid alongside other workers in the state.

“And since the Local Government is only playing a participatory role, it should not be in total control of the funding of primary schools.

“When there was a controversy as to the interpretation of participatory role of the Local Government as it concerns primary education, the Supreme Court interpreted it.

“We believe that any time we have ambiguity in any portion of the law, it is the Supreme Court that interprets for more and better clarifications.

“The Supreme Court in its 2002 injunction interpreted that the responsibility of primary education remains with the state and not the Local Government.

“The Local Government comes in only to assist in one way or the other.

“Why it becomes a problem to us is that when you want to recruit teachers into classrooms that are empty, the Local Government will say it does not have the money to pay.

“So, if you recruit any teacher, you are on your own because there is no money to pay,” he added.

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