By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Kwara State branch, has urged the state government to extend the benefits announced by Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, during the year 2020 World Teachers’ Day Celebration to its members.
The benefits include incentives for Teachers in Public Basic and Secondary Schools in Nigeria, the extension of the retirement age of teachers to 65 years and the years of service to 40 years from the current 35 years as well as Special Salary Scale and enhanced allowances.
The Union, which embarked on a 3-day nation-wide peaceful protest, starting on Monday, went to the state Head of Service,Mrs Susan Oluwole to press home their requests.
The requests was contained in a statement jointly signed by the National President and General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Makolo Hassan and Peters Adeyemi respectively.
“Ladies/ Gentiemen of the Press, On 5th October, 2020, His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, through the Honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu at the 2020 World Teachers’ Day Celebration held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, announced incentives for Teachers in Public Basic and Secondary Schools in Nigeria, which include the extension of the retirement age of Teachers to 65 years and the years of service to 40 years from the current 35 years as well as Special Salary Scale and enhanced allowances.
“The Federal Executive Council at its meeting of Wednesday, 20th January, 2021, gave approval to the incentives, while the Honourable Minister of Education announced at a Press Conference that a Bill titled: ‘Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill (2021)’, would soon be transmitted to the National Assembly in order to be enacted into law.
“Unfortunately, the Non-Teaching staff in the Schools system were excluded from this gesture of Government.
“While we, members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) in the Schools and Colleges in Nigeria applaud this good gesture of Government, we wish to remind the Government that Teachers are not the only workers in Schools.
“Teachers work with diverse range of Non-Teaching professionals and support personnel in order to achieve the set goals.
“The Non-Teaching staff in the Basic and Post Primary Schools possess requisite certificates and complement the teaching staff.
“Therefore, our interest should be accommodated by Government in the ongoing reform,” the statement reads.
The Union, therefore, requested the government at all levels to put an end to all discriminatory industrial relations practices against the Non-Teaching staff in the Primary and Post Primary Schools system.
The Union also urged the Federal Government to include Non-Teaching staff in the approved Special Teacher Pension Scheme to guarantee better welfare for them in retirement and also extend their retirement age to 65 years and length of service to 40 years.
It similarly enjoined Governments at all levels to as a matter of deliberate policy, do everything possible to motivate all workers in the education sector, irrespective of their profession and job description.
The Union also advocated training programmes for Non-Teaching professional staff with a view to enhancing their productivity as well as loan facilities provision that captured agriculture, housing, cars, motorcycles, etc to support Non-Teaching staff earnings to enhance their welfare.
The Union would, tomorrow, take its peaceful protest to the Ministry of Education, Kwara State House of Assembly while State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) would be points of call on Wednesday the last day as part of efforts to press home their demands.
In her response, the state Head of Service, Mrs. Susan Oluwole urged the Union to maintain the peaceful protest as she assured that their requests would get to the state governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.