Teachers in Kwara State have lent their voices against the proposed handing over of the affairs of primary education to local government authorities in Nigeria.
The teachers under the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) staged a peaceful protest to alert the public on the danger inherent in the ongoing agitation for local government autonomy, as it affects the funding and management of primary education.
Kwara State Chairman of the Union, Comrade Musa Abubakar said that primary school education might be heading for collapse should the Nigerian Government continued with the plan.
Funding primary education
Abubakar stressed the need for the public to know the danger inherent in the ongoing agitation for local government autonomy, as it affects the funding and management of primary education.
He explained that the union was not against granting autonomy to local government areas, but insisted that the funding of primary education should be the responsibility of the state and the Nigerian governments.
According to him, ”the union’s main concern is not local government autonomy, but the constitutional provision, which gives the responsibility of primary schools to local governments.”
The union leader reminded the government of the awful experience of teachers between 1994-1999, when primary education was left in the hands of local government areas.
Abubakar appealed that the provisions of the 1999 constitution which vested the onus of funding and management of primary education on states, while the local government participate, as interpreted by the Supreme Court should be upheld to save primary education from its imminent collapse.
He called on well meaning Nigerians to support their course to ensure that the foundational framework of the entire educational structure in the country is not bastardised.
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed urged the teachers to tread softly and apply law in pursuing their course.
The issue at hand, is an issue of law and due process must be followed in driving home your demands, he emphasised.
The protest was in line with the directive of the NUT national secretariat in kicking against the proposed local government autonomy, as it affects funding of primary education.
Source: Voice of Nigeria