The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Osun State wing has appealed to the state House of Assembly to place teachers’ salaries and emoluments in the first line charge from the federal allocation in the proposed local government autonomy.
The union members who besieged the Assembly complex, on Tuesday in their hundreds carried placard with different inscriptions demanding for special funding for primary education.
Speaking, the chairman of the union, Comrade Wakeel Amuda said, the step became imperative to save primary education from collapse, saying, primary education funding had suffered setback when it was under the management of local government.
Amuda noted that the union was not against the proposed local government autonomy but hinted that teachers were being owed salaries for months in some states in 1994 when local government had absolute control on primary school funding.
The union chairman who maintained that primary education was key to national growth posited that primary school teachers should be paid through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) from first line charge from the federation Account.
He urged the lawmakers to use their positions of privilege to legislate on the matter to position primary education for advancement and effective management and called for handover of payment of salaries of primary school teachers to state government as a way of pulling the dwindling primary school system out of wood.
According to him, “Local government lack experience and political will to fund and manage primary education; any attempt to handover primary education to local government amount to consigning primary education to the abyss of total collapse.
He charged the lawmakers to facilitate enactment of appropriate laws and make adequate budgetary allocations to the education sector to enable effective management of primary education in the country.
In his remark, the deputy speaker of the Assembly, Hnourable Akintunde Adegboye assured the teachers that the parliament would look into their demands, saying teachers are key to education development in the country.
Receiving a document containing the positions of the union from the union chairman, he said the house would pay attention to every detail of the documents with a view to coming to acceptable submission.
He pointed out that the ongoing debate on local government autonomy was key, hence the need for stakeholders in policy making to be holistic in their approach to the issue.
The deputy speaker who described education as agent of socialization said, government must give priority to functional education in the interest of prosperity.