Niger State government and its union of teachers may clash soon if the deductions from the emolument of its members are not stopped. The deductions are supposedly made to carter for computer training and purchase of IPAD devices for those teaching in secondary schools.
We found out that in order to run the programme, N2, 200 is deducted each month from salaries of each teacher in any secondary school. The programme was initiated last year by the immediate past administration of Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu.
The government had entered into an agreement with a non-governmental organisation to train secondary school teachers to be computer literate as well as ensure they have IPAD computers. The body of the agreement entails the government is to bear 40 per cent of the cost of the scheme, while the teachers shoulder 60 per cent.
However, it was revealed that while the teachers kept to their part of the bargain, the government allegedly failed to fulfil its own part; hence forcing the NGO to stop the programme abruptly with just a small percentage of the teachers benefiting from it.
In response to this, the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, wrote a letter of protest to the Ministry of Education, demanding immediate stoppage to the deductions from salaries of its members.
The letter was addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education with the title: ”˜Re-Internet Training and Supply of Zinox IPAD Tablets for Secondary School Teachers in Niger State,’ dated October 14, 2015 and signed by Comrade Labaran Garba, NUT’s assistant secretary. The union stated in the said letter that no deduction should be effected from the salary payroll of secondary school teachers as September 2015 is the last month for the payment of the 60 per cent IPAD agreed upon by the teachers.
The union’s letter reads in part: “The union further wishes to advise the Ministry of Education to request the NGO to provide a detailed report on the training programme, zone by zone, from inception to date.”
“The continued silence and non-response by government to pay the 40 per cent balance for the training and the ZPAD systems would compel the union to take a more lawful alternative step that will press home her members’ demand.”