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Delta govt, NUT disagree over fall in education system

By Funmi Komolafe& Austin Ogwuda
ASABA—THE Nigeria Union of Teachers and the Governor of Delta State, yesterday in Asaba traded blames on who should  take responsibility  for the collapse of the  nation’s education system at all levels.

The duo expressed their  views at the opening session of the national delegates conference of the Nigeria Union of Teachers,  which  began  in Asaba, Delta State, yesterday.

While the President of the NUT, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar,  said the education system has continued to face serious difficulties “following  the uncoordinated nature of government policies and actions, coupled with the absolute neglect of the teachers.”

Delta State  Governor,  represented by his deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama, SAN, said, however, that “while I am not advocating that every issue in this critical sector should  be left to the teachers alone, it must be acknowledged that the major bulk of the solution still rests with the teachers.”

Governor  Emmanuel  Uduaghan said, “while we appreciate the contributions  they are making to the sound moral and educational upbringing of our children, certain realities that stare us in the face demand that more is required from them.” Omar, who is also the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC,  said, “today, more than ever  before, happenings in the nation’s education system indicate that the dream of education for all by 2015 might not be realised after all.

For the past four years, rather than an improvement, public education has drifted  further  in the woods.”
The NUT president who was making his valedictory address, said that “infrastructural  facilities in schools remain dilapidated all over the country, laboratories and libraries are not common features in schools, instructional materials are grossly lacking while teachers’ development and welfare are yet to be given due attention.”

Also speaking at the opening ceremony,  the  NLC, represented by the Deputy President, Mr Peters Adeyemi, called on President Goodluck Jonathan  to “revisit  those key recommendations of the Uwais Committee  that the executive earlier rejected”.

The NLC commended Dr. Jonathan  for “ keeping to his promise  to federal civil servants on May Day, that the industrial  dispute with unions in the public service  over relativity would  be resolved within three  months.  The President’s declaration in his May 29, national broadcast that this will come into effect from July 1, 2010 is a very welcome development.”

The NLC however said  issues concerned with the National Minimum Wage is “yet to be conclusively addressed”.
It stated that although the tripartite committee has concluded its  work, “the ball  is now in the court of the Mr. President to submit a new national minimum wage legislation  to the National Assembly based on the negotiations of the tripartite committee.”


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