A group, Basic Education Teachers’ Association of Nigeria, BESAN, has demanded for full implementation of the old N18,000 minimum wage for teachers in primary and junior secondary schools in Kogi.
The group’s demand was contained in an open letter sent to Governor Yahaya Bello in Lokoja on Monday.
The letter, dated Nov. 25, said it was demanding for the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage to arrest the dwindling fortunes of basic education in the state.
BESAN, an umbrella body of teachers in primary and junior secondary schools in the state, said other civil servants had been enjoying the minimum wage, stressing that its demand was in the interest of fairness and justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the letter was signed by Messrs Onotu Yahaya and Tope Akintobi, the state Chairman and Secretary of BESAN respectively.
It also called for a stop to the payment of percentage salary to teachers in the basic education sector.
The group described the monthly payment of 35 per cent salary to its members from January till date as disheartening and an aberration in the history of education in the state.
According to it, the 35 per cent monthly salary payment also violates the governor’s earlier directive on 60 per cent monthly salary payment to teachers in the sector.
The teachers called on the governor to order the immediate payment of their outstanding salary arrears and allowances from January 2018 till date, including the balance of the underpayment of 60 per cent benchmark.
“Government should promote hard work and dedication to duty by rewarding and motivating the teachers through prompt payment of N18,000 minimum wage, leave allowances and promotion and annual salary incremental steps/rates with cash backing,” they said.
The group also called the attention of the governor to the problem of acute shortage of teachers in many primary and junior secondary schools in the state.
It said that the problem largely arose as a result of the staff screening exercise carried out by government in 2016 which, they said, had reduced the staff strength in the sector to 16,419 from 23,466.
While calling for the filling of the vacant teaching positions, they also demanded for infrastructure that would aid quality teaching and learning in the schools.
“Teachers should be given the needed opportunity to undergo in-service training and professional workshops to enhance their capability and efficiency,” the letter stated.