The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Akwa Ibom State chapter, yesterday called on the state government to review the ongoing free education programme to make it sustainable. The state Chairman of NLC, Etim Ukpong, who made the call during the celebration of the 2016 May Day at Uyo Township stadium, said free education in the state appeared unsustainable as head teachers were made to bear the costs of providing most teaching aids for the pupils. “There is the need to redefine the sponsorship of the free and compulsory education policy. For almost five school terms, heads of public schools have been running schools without subvention.
“For the free and compulsory education to be meaningful, many things have to be done. One of them is to employ teachers,” he said.
The state labour leader lamented the suffering some of the teachers who were employed since 2013 without salaries were passing through.
Ukpong who doubles as the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT), tasked the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, to intervene and settle the teachers’ salaries
Ukpong therefore appealed to the governor to do everything possible, and as he “squeezed” money to construct roads, he should also do same to pay all outstanding arrears of promotion, gratuity and pension owed workers in the state.
Also speaking, the state Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Akamba Awah, urged the governor to constitute the Civil Service Board as a matter of urgency. According to Awah, the board became necessary because of its importance of interviewing, promoting and disciplining of civil servants.
Addressing the workers, the governor said his administration would continue to work hard to uplift the welfare of workers in the state, and called on workers to be diligent and promote ethical responsibility in the service.