Friday, June 18, 2021

Privatisation of education will fuel insecurity, NLC says

“Privatisation will only lead to more insecurity in the country.”

• June 9, 2021
Ayuba Wabba
NLC president, Ayuba Wabba (Credit: Daily Post)

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has kicked against the privatisation of education in the country.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made this known at the 3rd National Quadrennial Conference of the union in Abuja on Wednesday.

The theme of the conference is “Trade Unions and Emerging Challenges in the World of Work.”

The Federal Ministry of Education had planned to concession publicly-owned schools that are not doing well for better management.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, had also said that the ministry was working out a framework to bring in private sector players to adopt public schools not doing well.

Mr Wabba said that privatisation would only lead to more insecurity in the country, while calling on the government to increase budgetary allocation for the sector instead of privatising education.

He recalled that the privatisation of the power sector had failed and brought misfortune to workers.

The president of the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN), canvassed for the review of budgetary allocation to education as well as an increase in overhead releases.

He said that the government views teacher education as an option and not a priority, hence paying less attention to critical areas affecting teachers’ education.

“The continuous neglect of Colleges of Education (COE) by successive governments portends grave danger and high implication.

“Unfortunately, both the legislative and executive arms of government at federal and state levels view it as an option and not a priority.

“But for us, the growth and development of a teacher remains non-negotiable as it is the bedrock of development in our beloved country.

“We call on the government to rethink the kind of attention it pays to the foundation of teachers, which is COEs,” he said.

Mr Msheliza said that if attention was not paid to the foundation of teachers, even the universities would not get it right.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the early presentation of the 2021 budget to the National Assembly for consideration.

He, however, expressed concern over the steady decrease in the percentage of budgetary allocation to education relative to the annual budget.

 “We have equally noted that the percentage of budgetary allocation to education has steadily been experiencing decline relative to the annual budget for the past 10 years.

“We therefore state that the 2021 budget for education is unacceptable to us because it fell far below the UNESCO’s recommended benchmark of 15 to 26 per cent,“ he said.”

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