Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –:
The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has assured local government teachers in the state of the state legislature support in their quest for autonomy and viability.
He, in the same vein, dissuaded rife allegations that the state government had turned deaf ears to their plight stressing that the government would soon Marshall out modalities to ameliorate their issues.
The Speaker gave the assurance, Wednesday while addressing members of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), during a nationwide mega rally led to the gates of the State Assembly Complex
Rt Hon. Oborevwori who broke security protocol by opening the gates of the State Assembly Complex to the rally, said no good government turn deaf ears to the issues confronting its people, adding that the Senator Ifeanyi Okowa led government is aware of the plights of the people and would address them when they are within his jurisdiction.
Earlier, while presenting their issues, State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Jonathan Jemirieyigbe called on the state legislature to ensure that the payment of primary school teachers salaries be taken over by the state governments in order to prevent the education sub sector from imminent collapse.
He observed that primary school teachers are being owed salaries for months in a number of states with Delta State not excluded, adding that it not only affects the survival of teachers, but portends great danger for the future of under privileged children in the country.
Comrade Jemirieyigbe commended the Speaker for his humility and stated that the NUT is not totally against Local Government autonomy, but the Union is concerned about the likelihood of scrapping the State Joint Local Government Account which would mean taking primary education back to the dark pre-1994 era.
According to him, the Local Governments neither have the capacity nor the political will to fund and manage primary schools in the country stressing that any attempt as such is tantamount to consigning primary education to the abyss of total collapse.
In a similar development, the Delta State Government has disclosed that the payment of primary school teacher’s salaries is the responsibility of the local government based on the constitutional mandate of the different tiers of government.
The Delta State Acting Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro made the disclosure when the State Executive of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and some primary school teachers staged a peaceful protest to government house, Asaba.
The Acting Governor, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Barr. Chiedu Ebie, said the management of primary and secondary education had been the function of the state government adding that government had been augmenting salaries of primary school teachers even when it was not its duty to do so.
Barr Otuaro stated that government had not failed to pay workers salaries because it was its statutory role, adding that any insinuation that government was owing primary school teachers was not true.
He asserted that the agitation of the teachers as regard autonomy was a national and constitutional matter.
He expressed government sympathy with the primary school teachers due to inability of councils to pay them stressing that as soon as the depressed economy improves, state government would come to assist.
The Acting Governor lauded the union and teachers for their peaceful disposition and assured them that government had the interest of teachers at all levels at heart, assuring that government would look into their presentation and offer its necessary input at the national level to the benefit of all when the need arises.
The State Chairman of the NUT, Comrade Jonathan Jemirieyegbe said the protest was to drum up support from the federal and state government that teachers’ salaries should be first line charge from the federation account.
Comrade Jemerieyegbe said primary school teachers were languishing because local government lacked the financial might to pay them adding that the issue was worrisome due to the fact that whatever affects education at the cradle could collapse the entire system.
He appealed to the appropriate quarters to further assist by taking the responsibility of paying teachers to the state government to avoid hindrance to the payment of the teachers.
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