Taraba: Protesting Students Besiege Govt House Over Nonpayment of Teachers Salaries

By Ikenga Chronicles March 22, 2017

— Callistus Agwaza, Jalingo

Over 5000 students from primary schools in Jalingo yesterday besieged the Taraba State government House to protest non payment of teachers salaries in the state.

The students led by their teachers, were demanding the payment of several months salaries owed teachers in the state.

The students said that the teachers were no longer giving them quality teaching and that in most cases,  the schools had become playing grounds as teachers were longer teaching at all.

This, they said was affecting the quality of learning and risking their chances of performing well in external examinations, consequently,  mortgaging their future.

Leader of the group Mr Saleh Babayo said the teachers had lodged their complaints at various levels without any meaningful results and so had come to register their grievances to the governor for immediate action.

“We went to the state Assembly initially but so far there has been no results. The teachers have not been paid and some of the teachers have lost their loved ones and faced very embarrassing situations as a result of this”.

A statement issued by the ‘Concerned Primary School Teachers’ the convener of the protest, said that the teachers were owed salaries ranging from five to fourteen months while the “ongoing verification exercise was just a ploy to punish the teachers over the criminal acts of some political weights in the state.”

Addressing the representative of the teachers, the state deputy governor Engr Haruna Manu said the issue of primary school teachers is of utmost concern to the governor who understands and feels the pains of the teachers.

Manu said the number of schools and teachers in the state skyrocketed since the inception of the administration even though there has been no employment and so the government was working to address the anomaly.

He however assured that “everybody who is a genuine teacher must be paid as soon as possible”.

The issue of salaries is very complicated and it must be handled with care.

We need the cooperation of the genuine teachers to resolve the issue otherwise they would continue to suffer.

Human Rights activist Barr. Muhammad Mustapha said it was “inhuman and highly insensitive of the government to subject the teachers to so much pains and difficulties while they themselves are receiving their salaries and allowances promptly.

Mustapha asked the government to leave sentiments out and address the problems of the people decisively so that the teachers would continue to give the students quality teaching.

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