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Rural teachers need motivation, says acting Kuje LEA secretary

You became the acting secretary of the Local Education Authority (LEA) of Kuje Area Council at a challenging time, how have  you been coping? I…

You became the acting secretary of the Local Education Authority (LEA) of Kuje Area Council at a challenging time, how have  you been coping?
I believe that we will soon overcome those challenges. And for the teachers and staff of the LEA, especially in terms of welfare and salaries, the FCT Administration has always paid their salaries as at when due. So as far as issue of teachers’ salary is concerned, in Kuje Area Council, we don’t have any problem. The present administration, under the leadership of Alhaji Abdullahi D. Galadima, has vowed to accord priority to teachers which is why he declared zero tolerance for corruption when he came here last week to declare open a training event we organised for some of our staff and executive members of the LEA.

Why is it that there are complaints across area councils that teachers take almost 95 percent of money from the monthly allocation of the area councils. Do you have any plan to trim down the number of the LEA staff?

Kuje Area Council has 2, 200 members of staff, I don’t think there is any basis for trimming down the numbers. Besides, we have staff of different grade levels. If you calculate our comulative salaries you will understand that the money is not bogus as people believe.

There is this challenge of lack of enough teachers, instructional materials and infrastructural decay, especially in rural schools. What are you doing to tackle the problems?

The present APC-led governmenthas declared a state of emergency in the education sector of the council. The chairman wants us to tackle the issue of girl- child education and payment of scholarships to indigenes of the council learning at tertiary institutions across the country. He has said that his administration will give priority to teachers’ welfare, promotion and motivate teachers working in rural communities. However, regarding issues of infrastructural decay, lack of enough teachers and absence of instructional materials, we are liaising with the council to address them. But you should also bear in mind that the administration of primary schools is not the responsibility of the council chairman, but as a man who has the zeal and desire to improve the standard and quality of primary education in entire Kuje Area Council, he has promised to intervene. In addition, I would like to advise the FCTA on the issue of allowances for teachers, especially primary school teachers, that special allowance should be introduced to serve as an incentive for those teaching in rural areas. For instance, teacher working in the rural areas should stop paying house rent, the government or the host community should provide accommodation for such teachers. At least, if the government can do so, the issue of not having enough teachers in rural schools will be minimised, some teachers will even like going to teach at rural areas. But the chairman has promised to liaise with the Universal Basic Education Board to address all these challenges.

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