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Primary school teachers see delayed payment

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By Abiodun Okunloye

State governments should fulfil their obligation to pay teachers promptly.

Titus Amba, who is the National President of Nigeria Union of Teachers, has expressed concern over the prolonged delay in salary payments to primary school teachers by certain state governments in the federation. He urged the Federal Government to prioritise basic education and ensure that state governments fulfil their obligation to pay teachers promptly. Amba revealed this information during a gathering of representatives from the federal branch of the NUT at the Teachers House in Abuja.

He called on the Ministry of Education to use his influence within the Federal Executive Council to advocate for a change in the 1999 Constitution. This change would shift the primary responsibility of providing the first nine years of basic education from local government councils to state governments. He believes that once state governments are constitutionally obligated to provide funding for basic education, the issue of primary school teachers going unpaid will finally be eradicated nationwide.

More policies and programs are needed to create a successful future.

The president of the NUT expressed concerns about the overdue salaries and promotions owed to teachers at both federal and state levels. Emphasising the importance of prioritising the welfare of teachers, he urged all levels of government in Nigeria to incorporate this into their policies and programs in order to effectively pave the way for a successful future in education. He emphasised the importance of teachers in driving change and being essential to advancing education in a forward-thinking society.

Alex Okonta, the chairman of the Federal Wing of NUT, expressed his distress over the situation where teachers in Federal Government Colleges (Unity Colleges) have not been paid their outstanding arrears. Okonta urged the federal government to settle these arrears promptly. Okonta stressed the need for a Federal Teaching Service Commission to be put in place. He believes that this commission would streamline the promotion process and help bring back the excellence that federal schools in Nigeria once had.

Government has introduced a new salary structure and additional benefits.

He emphasised the importance of enforcing the recently approved Teachers Salary Scale in 2020, initiated by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. The Federal Government has introduced a new salary structure and additional benefits to uplift the spirits of teachers. He highlighted the issue of many federal teachers being stuck in one position for years due to a lack of job opportunities. He insisted that teachers deserve timely promotions, considering the important role they play in education.

The effect of the government owing primary school teachers salaries can have a significant negative impact on both the teachers and the educational system as a whole. Not receiving their salaries on time can lead to frustration, stress, and low morale among teachers. This can affect their motivation and productivity in the classroom, ultimately impacting the quality of education they provide to students. Also, teachers may struggle to meet their financial obligations and basic needs if they are not paid on time. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety, affecting their overall well-being and job satisfaction.

Related Article: Stakeholders urge salary raise for teachers

Qualified teachers can be deterred from entering the profession or cause existing teachers to leave for better-paying opportunities. This can result in a shortage of qualified teachers, further compromising the quality of education. Overall, the government owing primary school teachers salaries can have far-reaching consequences on the education system, teacher well-being, and student outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial for governments to prioritise the timely payment of teachers’ salaries to ensure a stable and effective educational environment.

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