Senate Asks States To Pay Teachers’ Salaries | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Senate Asks States To Pay Teachers’ Salaries

Posted: Jul 13, 2016 at 6:16 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Rotimi Akinwumi

Abuja – The Senate on Tuesday directed all stakeholders in the education sector to immediately clear all the arrears of salaries owed teachers across the country.

The upper legislative chamber equally urged the Federal Government to immediately enter into negotiations with the states owing teachers backlog of salaries, and present to the National Assembly an effective and comprehensive intervention scheme to fully address it as national emergency for prompt action.

It also urged the states to immediately begin the implementation of a priority expenditure scheme that will equate the payment of teachers’ salaries with public expenditure such as security.

The decision of the Senate was a product of a motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye in which he brought to the attention of the lawmakers the fate of the teachers who are suffering from lack of salary.

Senator Melaye in the motion observed that funding of basic education is a concurrent issue which he described as the basic responsibility of both the states and local governments but currently requires the prompt intervention of the Federal Government to avert a total collapse of the nation’s educational system.

He added that a situation where some states owe teachers salaries for five months and beyond, implies that there is a “national emergency that requires drastic measures to halt the drift.”

The lawmaker described teachers’ welfare as the heartbeat of the success of the education system, adding that the ongoing suffering of teachers and students in the public schools can be remedied if only leaders at all levels rise to address the situation.

Melaye stated that the Federal Government bailout funds to 23 states with the payment of teachers’ salaries as the main drive is commendable, adding that the adverse effects of owing teachers would be a nationwide strike which, he said, would result in mass exodus of experienced teachers from public to private schools.

He believed that the trend would be accompanied by a number of pupils from public schools roaming the streets and becoming vulnerable to criminal influences.

Melaye further noted that there is a close link between the falling standard of education, funding and the management of public schools in Nigeria by both the state and federal governments, adding that with adult literacy rate of 51 percent and gross secondary school participation net attendance ratio of 54 percent, the nation cannot afford to witness any further deterioration of the basic education system.

He advocated the need to explore several education intervention funds that are backed by law but devoted to capital projects, pointing out that such funds can be deployed to pay teachers’ salaries, observing that provisions had been made for the recruitment of more teachers in the 2016 budget without any clear roadmap about payment of salaries.

The Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, in his comments, condemned a situation where the Federal Government is currently attempting to recruit 500,000 fresh teachers when those in current employment are actually not paid.

He insisted that it is not right to hire more hands without any plan of action for their payment.

Senator Ali Wakili equally lamented that a number of teachers can no longer shoulder their primary responsibilities in their families because they are not paid, describing the motion as timely.

Senate President Bukola Saraki in his remarks before ruling on the motion described the situation as a pitiful one which, he said, required the appropriate involvement and collaboration of the federal, state and local governments.

He said this is the beginning of the end of the problem of the teachers and mandated the committees on education to ensure that the resolutions passed are followed up with a view to ensuring that the right thing is done about payment of teachers’ arrears.

Comments (1)

  • Jul 15, 2016 at 2:56 am ctopher4xt

    For the first time, I read good message from the senate.

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