LG Autonomy: Kwara Speaker backs primary school teachers' salaries removal from councils list
Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad says inspite of consensus building around the local government having its autonomy, measures must be put in place to remove primary school teachers' salaries in the councils' list.
Ahmad who expressed sympathy with primary school teachers' situation across the country noted that it was sacrosanct that payment of their salaries as and when due must be taken into consideration before any decision would be made regarding the local government autonomy.
The speaker, in a release issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Shuaib Abdulkadir ,
said this while addressing executives of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kwara State Chapter who were on a courtesy visit to his office recently.
He pledged that the House of Assembly Speakers' Forum would look at the matter holistically while putting finishes touch to amendment in the constitution.
The Associate Professor of Law who lamented that the nation was getting it wrong in the education sector stressed that as a stakeholder, he believed if nothing was done to arrest the trend on time, the educational system would soon collapse completely.
According to him, "We are getting it wrong in the education sector because the foundation, the primary education is faulty".
He added, "Now, we have gone far with the constitutional amendment. consensus is building around giving autonomy to local government but you are right, we share your fear that if that happens local government as we have it today can not handle the primary education, there is no magic about it".
"Primary school education should not be subject to fear of payment or nonpayment of salaries, it must be constant. It must be as constant as the salary of the governors, the speakers and other political office holders. It must be automatic".
"Yes, if the local government is having its autonomy, how are we sure that the local government can pay salaries? This area will have to be addressed otherwise there is no amount of bailout that you can give it won't solve the problem".
Earlier, the Chairman of Kwara State Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Musa Abubakar in his address had clarified that the union was not in anyway antagonising local government autonomy but frowned at primary school education being at the mercy of the local government.
While lamenting series of hardship being encountered by his members, Abubakar regretted that larger percentage of people in the society now prefer enrolling their children in private schools due to series of anomalies in public schools.