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NUT warns - Federal Government plan to hand over primary school to Local government

The Rivers State chapter of the National Union of Teachers, NUT, yesterday protested against plans by the federal government to hand over primary schools to local government councils. The union believes that the plan will spell doom for the primary school system in the country.

One of the members of the union who staged the peaceful protests to the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Government to register their displeasure, also said that the local governments will not be able to make payment of salaries to teachers.

Chairman of the NUT, Rivers State branch, Mr. Jonathan Akpoghene, also said that the union was not against autonomy of the local governments, but would resist an attempts to shift the responsibility of paying the salaries of primary teachers to the local councils. Mr. Akpogene stated: “We do not think that the local governments, are considering the prevailing economic circumstances, can pay the salaries of primary school teachers. 

This plan will eventually implemented will spell doom for the primary school system and it will demoralise the teachers. This unwholesome development portends danger for the mass of underprivileged children in the country.

It is against this backdrop that we call on the state governments to take over the payment of the salaries of primary school teachers to prevent the educational sub-sector from imminent collapse, he said.
The NUT Chairman wondered why the federal government was contemplating handing over the payment of primary school teachers to local governments knowing full well that the local councils were unable to pay the salaries of school teachers in the past.

He pointed out: that "On the confusion over which tier of government should be in charge of primary schools have long been settled by the Supreme Court  between the Attorneys-General of the 36 states in 2002.

The Supreme Court held that in so far as primary education is concerned, the local governments should only participate in the state governments in its provision and maintenance. The question of funding, obviously, remains with the state government, he said.

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