By Festus Ahon
ASABA—TEACHERS in Delta State, under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, yesterday, besieged the State Government House and the state House of Assembly complex, urging the state government to take over the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries.
Saying that they were not against the autonomy of local governments, the teachers said, that the only way to save the primary education from collapse was to remove their salaries from local government.
Chairman of NUT in the state, Mr Jonathan Jemirieyigbe, who led the rally decried that primary school teachers in some States including Delta were being owed salaries.
Lamenting that the development would not only affects the survival of primary school teachers, Jemirieyigbe said it portends great danger for the future of unprivileged children in the country.
Reiterating that they were not against the autonomy of local government, he said that they may scrap the State Joint Local Government Account which according to him, may take primary education back to the dark pre-1994 era.
Addressing the teachers, acting governor of the state, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, insisted that the payment of primary school teachers salaries was the responsibility of the local government, based on the constitutional mandate of the different tiers of government.
Otuaro who spoke through the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, said that the management of primary and secondary education has been the function of the state government, adding that the state government has been augmenting salaries of primary school teachers even when it was not its duty to do so.
He said that government has not failed to pay the state workers salaries because it was its statutory role, adding that any insinuation that government was owing primary school teachers was not correct.
Addressing the teachers at the state Assembly Complex, where the Speaker, Mr Sheriff Oborevwori said that the Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration was aware of their plights.