The newly appointed Chairman of Anambra-State Universal Basic Education (ASUBEB), Chief Patrick Ugbaja has urged Federal and State Governments not to surrender the payment of teachers’ salary across the country to local authorities in the name of local government autonomy.
The chairman who spoke with journalists in his office in Awka, the Anambra state capital on Wednesday, said if Local Government takes over the payment of primary school Teachers salaries, it will negatively’ affect the system.
Ugbaja who was reacting to the planned local government autonomy said primary school teachers are better paid and promptly too now that federal and state governments are involved.
“When local government were responsible for the payment of salaries of teachers. Teachers were owed up to seven to nine months salary arrears and allowing them to take over in the name local government autonomy will mark the beginning of unpaid salaries and rubbish all gains made over the years” he said.
According to him, leaving primary school teacher salary in the hands of local government authorities will be dangerous, saying that since primary education is the foundation, it must be left in the hands of federal and state governments for a stronger foundation.
Tribune Online earlier reports that the Federal Government has ordered Federal allocations to LGAs be disbursed directly to their respective bank accounts starting from June 2019.
Meanwhile, the ASUBEB boss has said that the Anambra state government is given priority attention to welfare and salary of teachers in primary schools because it understands the importance of primary education.
According to him, the state government saw primary education as an important agent of development, hence the prompt payment of salaries as at when due.
He added that the state government sees primary education as core to education development and it prioritises teachers salary and welfare as such, moved their payment to first charge line payment that must be paid before any other salary” he said.
Ugbaja said that the government was serious in early childhood education and because of that, it is investing heavily to make sure that children in the state get the best foundation in education.
According to him, as part of efforts to strengthen the primary education system in the state, the government had in the last eight years employed over 3000 teachers to strengthen the primary education sector.
He, however, said despite the Government’s intervention in the area of employment of a fresh teacher, the state needs more teachers at the primary level.
He concluded that currently, the state government under Governor Willie Obiano has about 166 public primary schools and 258 junior secondary schools, noting that there are need to recruit more teachers, especially now that many are close to the retirement age of 65.