By Faith Igbudu
Primary school teachers in Benue State have appealed to the Samuel Ortom led administration to strive to exit well by taking as priority, the welfare of teachers in the state and clearing all backlog of emoluments owed them over the years.
State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Levi Akuma made this known recently at the union secretariat in Makurdi as Benue teachers joined their counterparts worldwide to celebrate the 2022 World Teacher’s Day.
He said dignity can only be restored to the profession if the government give members their welfare packages as at when due.
“…you have to give teachers their money to pave way for them to carry out their duties very well. When that is not done it is very difficult for teachers to understand that they are teachers.
“I however, encourage all teachers to keep on doing their best and the government also should act very fast. They are about exiting office, it is good for them to pay us our salary arrears for 2017 and also clear the staggered salary for 2021 up to early this year,” he said.
Similarly, National Chairman of the union, Comr. Titus Audu, in his speech said called on governments at both national and sub-national levels to place high premium on education and accord teachers their pride of place in society.
“In this regard, we must brace up as a nation to invest adequately in education by raising the budgetary allocations to education, in line with the internationally recommended benchmarks of at least 4% to 6% of GDP and/or 15% to 20% of public expenditure,” the statement read.
In his address, Executive Chairman, Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Comr. Joseph Utse, said the role of teachers in the society is very imperative, saying that it is recognition of this that the board, under his watch is working assiduously to ensure that teachers are comfortable to discharge their duties.
He commended the government of Samuel Ortom for keeping faith with the teachers by the approval and implementation of several welfare packages, including the massive construction of schools, provision of instruction materials and implementation of teachers promotion. He stated that more is being expected as the state government has set up a committee for the implementation of the new retirement age as approved by the federal government.
Giving a goodwill message, Special Adviser to Benue state Governor on Secondary Education, Oste Otokpa congratulated the teachers, urging them to remain resilient in the discharge of their duties at all times, saying that the recognition for any achievement in life begins with celebrating teachers.