THE leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened to withdraw the services of its members in states which have refused to pay their teachers the approved N30,000 minimum wage.
National President of NUT, Dr Nasir Idris, while speaking at the World Teachers’ Day celebration on Tuesday in Abuja, expressed dismay that some state governments were yet to implement the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act for teachers since it was signed into law in 2018.
Idris, particularly urged the affected governors who are yet to pay their teachers the N30,000 minimum wage, to do that without further delay or prepare for imminent strike action.
“May we remind them that every worker is worthy of his/her wage, especially now that our take-home pay can
hardly take us home,” he said.
He also lamented that primary school teachers’ salaries were not being paid as and when due in some states.
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly in the ongoing 4th Alteration Act on the 1999 Constitution, to provide for the funding of Basic Education through First Line Charge.
“It will also be of immense benefit if the extent of contribution of the various tiers of government in the funding of basic education is clearly defined in the Constitution accordingly,” he said.
Idris noted that the COVID-19 crisis has expanded the role of teachers and placed a greater burden on them as they were challenged to appreciate the new normal, embrace the use of technology in education, build their capacities, be resilient, creative and innovative to be able to meet the new trends and challenges of the rapidly changing world.
According to him, to keep teaching and learning ongoing, teachers had to adopt remote or distance learning methods and to ensure that no learner is left behind.
“They also took up the duty to assess and identify learning losses and applied recovery measures such as accelerated learning programmes to reduce learning gaps.
“This means that teachers need to be adequately equipped, empowered and supported to be effective in carrying out the task of education recovery, and to meet the learning needs of all learners including the underprivileged, disadvantaged and other vulnerable children, especially the girl child,” he said.
Speaking on attacks on schools and kidnapping of students, NUT President called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to ensure that schools across the country are protected and safe for teaching and learning.
He noted that the insecurity in Nigeria has taken a dangerous trend from the North to the East and West.
He added that this has adversely impacted teaching and learning in various communities across the country.
Idris, therefore, called on the federal, state as well as private individuals to join hands and restore peace, order and peaceful coexistence to ensure the safety of schools and the school communities for the good of the country.
“The NUT observes with great concern the several attacks on schools and other learning institutions. Many teachers have lost their lives to bandits and terrorists across the country; others have also gone to the great beyond as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We applaud the courage of teachers who lost their lives on their lines of duty. This is a great price paid by them and their dependents. Our tribute also goes to our dear students and pupils who lost their lives or were adversely affected and impacted by the global COVID-19 lockdown,” Idris lamented.
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