The National Union of Teachers has decried what it described as the poor treatment of primary school teachers in the country.
The union’s National President, Nasir Idris, made its position known at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.
Idris also suggested the creation of body to harmonise the payment of teachers’ salaries.
He said, “There are some states where they have not implemented minimum wage for teachers, but on the other hand, they have implemented for state workers.
“That is why I said teaching profession is not attractive in this country because of the barrier, especially the primary school teachers being termed as second-class workers in this country because in some states, you will see that they will pay the secondary teachers their salaries or their minimum wage but in primary school, they will not pay!
“This is coupled with the problems on ground. That is why we are advocating and supporting at the constitutional review that, let them remove teachers from the local governments! “Let them create a body, just like I mentioned, we have UBEC here. During the military era, we had what we call National Primary Education Commission.
“That commission was responsible for the payment of salaries and allowances of primary school teachers in Nigeria. After that Federation Account, money that is meant for the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries will be deducted and sent to that body, NPEC.
“Now, we have UBEC, and in various states of federation, we have SUBEB, so, we said ‘remove our money from the Federation Account (local government account), send it to UBEC, so that UBEC will now transmit it to various schools across the federation, so that they will be able to pay teachers’ salaries.”
The union also called on the government to provide security in schools.
Idris added, “We want to appeal to the Federal Government again to provide security in our schools, not only security but enough ones so that they can man these schools where we are having problems.
“It is not all the places we have problems. The problems are in some local governments in some states where we have banditry, kidnapping and insurgency among others. We have lost a lot of members to insecurity.
“We urge the government to, as a matter of urgency, provide enough security for those schools. Any place that the Federal Government does not provide enough security, we can’t just put our children and teachers in problem. That’s why we said that if the security is not going to be provided, definitely we are going to ask our teachers in those areas to withdraw their services. We have made this clear to the Federal Government.
“I can say that we have lost up to 800 teachers in the North East. About the issue of banditry in North West, not that we have lost teachers but teachers are being kidnapped together with their students.”