Drought of Teachers: Threat To Educational System In Delta-NUT

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Members of NUT Delta State Wing

By Great Maduawulechukwu-Warri

Education system in Delta State is facing the threat of imminent collapse on the heels of the acute shortage of teachers in public schools, the State Wing of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) raised the alarm on Monday.

Also, the NUT decried, in strong terms, “the continued delay in the payment of the N30,000 new national minimum wage to primary school teachers”, a development which it said has becone most worrisome to the Union.

Making the assertions at the opening of the 7th Quadrennial (8th) State Delegates Conference of the NUT held at the College of Education, Warri, the State Chairman of the Union, Comrade Titus Okotie lamented “the issue of inadequate manpower in our school system” while stressing the urgent need “to save the school system from imminent collapse”.

Delegates from the 25 Local Government Areas of Delta State participated at the conference themed “Adequate Personnel: An imperative for the sustainability of our educational system.”

The NUT Chairman explained that the theme “has been carefully selected to reflect the true state of our education system which is presently experiencing acute shortage of teachers”.

“You will all agree with me that no education system can grow above the level of its teachers, therefore, adequate teaching force is required for the advancement of our educational system”.

On the alleged non-implementation of the N30,000 new national minimum wage to Delta State primary school teachers, the NUT Chairman affirmed that “the Union has almost exhausted all legitimate avanues of dialogue”.

“This is another challenge. May I use this medium to call on the State government to urgently set necessary machineries in motion towards resolving this issue in the interest of industrial harmony and mutual relationship which exists between the NUT and the Senator Dr. Okowa-led administration”, he said.

The NUT Chairman listed other challenges confronting teachers in Delta State public schools notably non-release of the 2021 promotion of eligible teachers in both primary and secondary schools, till date.

He therefore enjoined the SUBEB and PPEB to “expedite actions in this regard, considering the 2014 Memorandum of Understanding that promotion shall be effected as at when due to avoid accumulation of arrears”.

Also, the NUT expressed worry over the continued stagnation of university graduate teachers in the primary school system on SGL 14 disclosing that the Union will soon communicate the State Government on the next line of action in this regard, “to save the primary school system from collapse”.

Furthermore, the Union urged the State Government to urgently rectify the anomaly in the non-inclusion of NUT in the Governing Councils of Delta State University and the two Colleges of Education in the State “in line with the edict establishing these institutions”.

The Delta State Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mrs. Rose Ezewu, who was a special guest at the Conference urged delegates to come up with “realistic recommendations that will strengthen personnel management policies and guide the State Government in addressing personnel challenges in the State educational bsector, esoecially the teaching staff”.

The Commissioner remarked that adequate personnel in educational institutions “has remained a major challenge in most climes due to several factors ranging from management to high wage bills amidst other sundry costs”.

She however noted that the present administration in the State “in realization of the unique role personnel play in our educational system has institutionalized the Delta State Annual Teachers Award to motivate and to encourage hard work”.

Also, the administration has established the Teachers Professional Development Centre (TPDC) at OwabOyibu to develop and equip teachers with required teaching skills and methodologies to improve the capacity of teachers to meet with 21st century educational challenges”, she posited.

Meanwhile the incumbent Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Delta State Wing, Comrade Titus Okotie has been reelected for a second term in office following his landslide victory at the election which climaxed the state delegate conference of the union.

Comrade Okotie secured 609 votes of the total vote cast of 614,to defeat his only rival, Comrade Goodluck Ejizere, who polled a partry five votes, in what could be described as an overwhelming endorsement of the entire teachers in Delta State.

While Comrade Okotie is a secondary school teacher from Delta Central, Comrade Ejizere is said to be a primary school teacher in Delta South Senatorial districts of the state.

The chief Returning Officer of the election, Comrade Adamu Ango, who pronounced Comrade Okotie winner, commended the delegates for their mature and orderly conduct throughout the entire process.

In his post-election speech, elated Comrade Okotie expressed gratitude to teachers in Delta State for believing in his leadership and reassured that his administration will not betray the confidence reposed in the team, while promising greater welfare for teachers in the years ahead.

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