Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has advocated for the removal of primary education from Local Government Councils so as to end the perennial non- payment of salaries and ensure effective service delivery in the sector.
Speaking yesterday (25-8-15) when the National President of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Micheal Olukoya led members of NUT Standing Committee to pay a courtesy visit, Senator Okowa said that “Primary Education is the bed rock of the child and there is the need to strengthen it and get it right, if we lose it at the primary school stage we have lost it completely.”
From left; Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya, National President Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Ikpe Johnny Obong, Secretary (NUT), during a courtesy call on the Governor by Nigeria Union of Teachers.
According to him “We know nationally that the primary school teachers are actually paid by the local government councils, I believe that if we are committed to free basic education it will be necessary for the payment of the salaries of teachers at the primary school level to be taken away from the local government councils. He emphasised that, “it will be necessary to revisit the revenue allocation formula appropriately because I know that in the time past even when the councils were not receiving up to what they receive in percentage today that payment of primary school teachers were not made by local government councils”, he added that “to cede the payment of primary school teachers to the local government councils was a wrong decision and will continue to be wrong, until we address it, we may not be able to address all the issues as it concerns primary school teachers.
Continuing, the Governor said “it is something that I expect that the labour union will need to raise before the national assembly, before the presidency, before all the governors so that collectively we can fight this and ensure that we restore order”.
Governor Okowa who decried the lack of discipline, care and dedication at the primary education level emphasized that urgent measures were needed to rescue not just the primary education system but also other levels of education and society as the decaying primary education foundation has permeated other levels of education.
He urged NUT to continue to be patient and partner with the state government on issues affecting workers so as to move the state and nation forward, disclosing that there would soon be a Teachers Development Centre in the state where teachers can be trained and re-trained.
While stating that his administration would continue with the state free education programme at both the primary and secondary levels and the various assistance to students at the tertiary level, Governor Okowa said that the state was not indebted to its workforce disclosing that he has directed Local Government Councils to ensure prompt payment of Primary School Teachers salaries.
Earlier, the National President NUT, Comrade Michel Olakoya said that they were in the state to check on workers welfare and chat a way forward for the educational development of the state.
He commended Governor Okowa for the cordial relationship between government and teachers in the state and the giant strides he has made in the educational sector.