Teachers Protest over Alleged Plan To Cede Primary Education To Local Government

By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City

Commercial activities were on Tuesday paralyzed in Edo State following the protest embarked upon by the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Edo State chapter over the proposed handing over of  the affairs of primary education to local government councils.

The protesters drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state, marched through the major streets of Benin thereby causing traffic jam in the city metropolis.

Addressing newsmen at the Nigeria Union of Journalists Secretariat in Benin City, the NUT national chairman, Comrade Mike Alogba Olukoya represented by its national publicity secretary, comrade Amos Izebhojie said they have nothing against the local government autonomy but are strictly against the ceding of the primary education and its management to it noting that it lacks the financial capacity to fund the primary education in the country.

He said ceding of the primary school education to the local government council was experimented many years ago but it was characterized by incessant strike actions and other abnormalities adding that as result of that, it did not see the light of the day.

He said going back to old days was to cripple the primary education system in the country.

“To avoid the abysmal failure which was then experienced, the 1999 constitution as amended provided copiously for who should manage the primary education which is the state government.

“Primary education and the management of primary education must not be ceded to the hands of local government councils. They lack the residual capacity to fund and manage primary education in Nigeria.

“It was experimented before and it failed woefully. That period was bedeviled by incessant strikes, school dropped out and what have you. We are saying that the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended provided copiously for who should manage primary education and which is the state government”, he said.

The Edo State chairman, Comrade Loggle Iyalomhe noted that it  is ironical and distressingly painful that this all important stratum of our educational system has suffered untold neglect and underfunding without adequate motivation for teachers plying their trade at this level of our educational system, culminating in the distortion of academic calendar which is antithetical  and retrogressive to effective education delivery, national growth and development.


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