Kaduna, Enugu teachers protest against handing over primary schools to LGs

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[News]–Both the Kaduna and Enugu state chapters of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) have protested differently the proposed handing over of the affairs of primary education to local government authorities in the country following the drive for local government autonomy; saying it may lead to collapse of primary education in the country.

The State NUT chairman, Comrade Audu Amba who led a protest in Kaduna, stressed the need for the public to know the danger inherent in the ongoing agitation for local government autonomy as it affects the funding and management of primary education.

Amba appealed that the provisions of the 1999 constitution which vested the onus of funding and management of primary education on states while the local government participate, as interpreted by the Supreme Court should be upheld to save primary education from imminent collapse.

“The renewed agitation for local government autonomy has made it imperative for NUT to sensitise stakeholders and the general public on the danger inherent in handing over the affairs of primary education to respective local government councils if autonomy of local government is granted,”

“The primary concern of the union is not the issue of local government autonomy, but we are of the firm belief that the provisions of the 1999 constitution which vested the onus of funding and management of primary education on States while the local government participates, as interpreted by the Supreme Court should be upheld to save primary education from imminent collapse that may arise from local autonomy and scrapping of the state and local government Joint Allocation Account,” he said.

He called on well meaning Nigerians to support their course to ensure that the foundational framework of the entire educational structure in the nation is not pulled down.

Similarly, the Enugu State chapter of NUT yesterday held a peaceful rally at the New Haven Primary School in Enugu, to oppose the return of primary schools to local governments.

At the peaceful rally, the teachers insisted that the funding of primary education should be the responsibility of state and Federal governments.

The State NUT Chairman Ozor Paul Nnaji said the union’s main concern was not local government autonomy but the constitutional provision, which gives the responsibility of primary schools to local governments.

Nnaji said: “We are of the firm belief that the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which vest the onus of funding and management of primary education on states while the local government participates, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, should be upheld to save primary education from imminent collapse.”

The union leader reminded the government of the “awful experience of teachers, between 1990 and 1994, when primary education was left in the hands of local government areas. This will continue to haunt the education industry for a long time to come”.




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