28th March, 2011
The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) which represents all teachers in the country, Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja endorsed the candidature of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for next monthâ€™s Presidential Elections.
The endorsement was contained in an address presented to President JonathanÂ Â by the NUT leader, Comrade Michael Olukoya whoÂ Â led a 120-man NUT delegation from all States of the Federation and the Federal Capital to an audience with the President.
Comrade Olukoya said that President Jonathan had endeared himself to all Nigerian teachers through his various actions since he assumed office last year, adding that the teachers looked forward to continuing to work with him to improve currents standards of education after his anticipated victory in next monthâ€™s elections.
The NUT President particularly commended President Jonathan for the Presidential Summit on Education held in October, 2010, the establishment of the Presidential Task Force on Education, andÂ Â his Administrationâ€™s strict adherence to the rule of law, which has resulted in labourâ€™s cordial working relationship with the Government.
â€œOur prayer and hope is that we shall continue to build on this harmony in order to ensure that that the nationâ€™s dreams and aspirations, and the yearnings of the entire citizens for quality education for Nigerian children will be realised as you march into the next stanza of your Administrationâ€™s post May 29 programme of activities to give education the desired lift,â€ Comrade Olukoya told the President.
â€œNigerian teachers are endeared to you by the steps you have taken so far and those that you have promised to take to revamp the Nigerian education industry,â€ he added.
In his response, President Jonathan assured the Nigerian Union of Teachers that the Federal Government will set up a National Secondary Schools Commission, to strengthen the secondary school system.
â€œWe are studying final proposals and we will set up a Commission for Secondary Schools, in order to lay a solid foundation for tertiary education in the countryâ€, he said.
Responding to concerns by the NUT that neither the States nor Local Governments were accepting full responsibility for theÂ Â funding of primary education in the country, the President said with success at the polls, he will continue to work with the National Assembly to make appropriate laws for good governance of the country, adding that problematic existing laws will be amended.
â€œIf necessary, we will amend the Constitution to protect the educational sector and provide qualitative education to our children, otherwise, we cannot hope to achieve our Vision 20-2020â€, President Jonathan said.
The President also assured the NUT that their demands for a Teachersâ€™ Salary Scale, better teaching environment and facilities, as well as strengthening the entire sector through better conditions of service for teachers will be given due consideration by the Presidential Task Force on Education which was inaugurated in January.