Michael Olukoya, president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has said the country will be breeding more illiterates than literates if the federal government hands over primary education to local government councils.
The NUT president said this while lamenting the backlog of salaries owed teachers in 28 states.
Speaking during a recent workshop in Abuja, he stated that life-threatening challenges, which includes the Boko Haram insurgency, had claimed the lives of some teachers in the region.
“The economic recession has worsened the situation of teachers with many teachers being owed by state governments. As I speak, about 28 states owe our teachers. The commercialisation and privatisation of education in Nigeria should be condemned. The policy has left education in the hands of private proprietors of schools who charge outrageous school fees in the bid to make profit,” Olukoya said.
“We also appeal to the federal government not to contemplate handing over primary education to local government councils under the guise of local government autonomy.
“If we attempt to put primary education under the purview of local government administration, we shall be going back to the analogue age. We will not allow that to happen.
“Education should be seen as a right enshrined in our constitution. We are not against local government autonomy, but if they say primary education should go to the local governments, it will lead to slavery. We will be breeding more illiterates than literates.”