HEAD teachers of primary schools under aegis of Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON) have thrown their weight behind the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) over its opposition to agitation for local government autonomy in Nigeria.
NUT is vehemently opposed to granting of local autonomy in the ongoing constitutional review efforts, arguing that it would spell doom for primary school education in Nigeria.
AOPSHON in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting held last week in Awka, Anambra State, said it is solidly behind the position of NUT leadership on local government autonomy.
The communiqué signed by its national president, Mr Mahmud Lawal and secretary, Mr Oluwole Lawal obtained by Education Tribune in Abuja, also deplored the non-implementation of the 27.5 per cent teachers’ enhanced salary scale and minimum wage by some state governments.
The communiqué reads in part: “NEC-in-session discussed extensively the issue of constitutional review by the National Assembly vis-à-vis the local government autonomy, its implications on the payment of Primary School Teachers’ salaries and thus adopted the resolutions of the NUT as presented to the National Assembly, and at the press conference recently addressed by the NUT national president on the subject matter.
“NEC-in-session reviewed the challenges noticed and success recorded in the last national annual workshop organised for head teachers in Nigeria in November 2012 in Ibadan, Oyo State and was highly impressed on the effects so far. NEC also resolved to hold management /leadership seminar this month in Calabar- Cross Rivers State
“NEC-in-session observed with serious concern the level of vacancies being created in the nominal roll of teachers in the rural area schools in the country as a result of teachers’ non-commitment to work in the rural areas, connivance of some education secretaries or the equivalent to use posting for political compensations to their loyalists, highly executive political pressures to put loved ones in the cities during transfers and postings and level of decay in the infrastructure of our rural schools which no longer attracts teachers to work in such environment among others.
“NEC therefore recommends holistic synergy among stakeholders to address the menace and restore normalcy to the rural schools.
“NEC-in-session reviewed the comprehensive welfare programme of the NUT which is now evolving in the, NUTECOM idea. NEC therefore adopted the idea and instructed members to key in to the programme.
“NEC-in-session took a comprehensive report from each state of the federation especially on the implementation of the national minimum wage and the 27.5 per cent professional allowance. NEC consequently expressed great concern on the attitude of some state governments not to implement up till now despite the economic hardship being experienced and the subsequent increase in the pump price of petrol, diesel and kerosene in Nigeria.
“NEC finally recommends immediate compliance by the states’ government that are affected to implement and cushion the effects of down-turn economic conditions in the country and thereby arouse the additional levels of commitment needed by the workers and avert possible industrial misunderstanding.
“NEC-in-session is still not comfortable with the level of insecurity in the country. NEC appreciates the efforts of the Federal Government to address the situation but still suggest that more drastic measures were taken to curtail further escalation.