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FG to pay N75,000 to education programme’s undergraduates as NUT threatens strike

By Felix Khanoba

The Federal Government has revealed plan to pay the sum of N75,000 as a stipend per semester for students undergoing degree programmes in Education in public universities in Nigeria.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, made this known
at the World Teachers Day celebration on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the move, which will see Colleges of Education students getting N50,000 as a stipend per semester, was part of a deliberate effort of the goverment to attract the best brains into the teaching profession as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.

Adamu, whose speech was read by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, said his ministry would collaborate with the states’ government to ensure automatic employment for the students on graduation.

He said : “Undergraduate students of B.Ed / B.A. Ed/ BSc. Ed in Public institutions are to receive stipends of N75,000.00 per semester while NCE students will get N50,000.00 as stipends per semester.

“Federal Government should find the modality through which respective states’ governments could provide automatic employment for NCE graduates at Basic Education level.”

The minister charged teachers to continue to support government to shape the future of the education sector and the country at large.

“I also commend you all for your resilience and collaboration to ensure the stabilization of the school calendar, be assured that accelerated implementation of the aforementioned resolutions is on course. Wishing you all a happy 2021 World Teachers Day Celebration, ” he said.

On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari assured teachers that the implementation of most of the targets in the repositioning of teachers will be achieved by January 2022.

The president who was represented at the event by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba
said teachers’ welfare remains paramount in the scheme of
things and negotiations are ongoing to ensure that their salary is prioritised.

He called on the Nigerian Union of Teachers and Nigerians to reflect on the past and reciprocate the landmark gesture by explicitly committing to the provision of excellent service delivery.

Also speaking at the event, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has lamented the inability of some state governments to implement the National Minimum Wage Act for teachers since it was signed into law in 2018.

Speaking on the 2021 theme, “Teachers at the heart of education recovery,” the union through its national president, Nasir Idris, said following the occurrence of COVID-19, 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.

Idris warned that members across states would be asked to withdraw their services if the issues are not addressed urgently.

“The NUT observes with dismay that some State Governments are yet to implement the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act for teachers since it was signed into law in 2018. We herewith call on the erring State Governments to implement the National Minimum Wage without further delay. 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.”

The union also decried the incessant attacks on schools which has taken a dangerous trend from the North to the East and West.

“This trend has adversely impacted on teaching and learning in our various communities across the country. We therefore call on the federal, state as well as private individuals to join hands and restore peace, order and peaceful coexistence to ensure the safety of our schools and the school communities for the good of our country.”

On the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries, Idris called on the National Assembly in the on-going 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 theextent of contribution of the various tiers of government in the funding of Basic Education is clearly defined in the Constitution accordingly,” he said.

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