NUT decries dwindling teacher population

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The Nigeria Union of Teachers has called on all tiers of government in the country to employ more teachers in primary and secondary schools in order to fill the gap created by those retiring.

The National President of the union, Comrade Audu Amba, made the call on Monday in Calabar when he came to commission the NUT Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Transport Scheme at the NUT state secretariat.

He commended NUT Cross River State branch for acquiring three brand new Toyota Hiace buses for members.

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Amba said, “Trade union is not all about asking what the government will do for you but it’s for adding value to yourself as a union.

“We are proud as Nigerian teachers to identify with the leadership of this country. As far as we are concerned as primary and secondary school teachers, we’ve gotten what we want from the President of this country, and those things are not only incremented in service year of teachers but there are so many other goodies like the increase in the years of retirement for teachers from 60 to 65 years, and from 35 years to 40 years for service, issue of special salary, special allowances, all sorts of loans, scholarships that is enshrined in those very approvals that the Buhari has graciously given to Nigerian teachers.

“So, we are most grateful to him. He has done his part; we are now waiting for the gazette to be out so that it will now become a working document for all the tiers of government.

“I want to use this medium to commend some state governments who have kick-started the implementation of this new year of service for Nigerian teachers, and we are urging other governors who are yet to implement it to do so. They should not even wait till the gazette is out, let them follow and do the needful because the President has appended his signature to all that we’re talking about.”

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He added that many state governments were not recruiting adequate teachers to match the number of those retiring.

“When teachers are retiring and there is no commensurate recruitment or replacement then the school system will be left without teachers in our schools.

“If you take a look at the statistics, you’ll see that many schools have not recruited teachers for the past 20 years. That’s the situation we have found ourselves in.”

In his remarks, the state Chairman of NUT, Gregory Olayi, thanked Amba for honouring the invitation to commission the new buses and thanked the members for trusting him to execute the project.

He decried the poor treatment of teachers in the state and called on the state government to treat teachers better.

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“The state of teachers in Cross River State is regrettable. The way we are treated in Cross River State is as if we were not supposed to exist. We are employed, we are rendering our services, and we are not even paid. If we are paid it is once every two months.

“Aside from that, salaries are being paid to teachers but the dues deducted from the salaries are not paid to the union. Teachers are being promoted for 15 years without implementation. The increment was done in January, February and March this year. This same money was deducted back. I want to use this medium to plead with the government in power to see how they can turn a new leaf in the direction of teachers,” he said.

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