Special Allowance: Only Certified Teachers ’ll Benefit —Muobaghare

By MONDAY UWAGWU
Hope rises for members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) as the Delta State Government said it will resume implementation of the Teachers’ Special Salary (TSS).
But with a proviso that only professional teachers, duly registered by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) will enjoy the special allowance.
The state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, who made the disclosure in a telephone chat with The Pointer at the weekend, said the position of the government on the matter was in strict compliance with the TRCN Law, which stipulates that only professional teachers should teach pupils in he nation’s education system.
According to him, while the government was willing and ready to pay teachers their due, it would make no economic and professional sense for the government to pay those not certified as professional teachers.
Muoboghare also said that registration with the TRCN would soon be a core requirement for access to other benefits for teachers in the state public school system, particularly promotions.
He equally spoke on threat by the state wing of the NUT to abort the imminent resumption of school for the next academic session, unless the state resumed implementation of payment of the TSS to its members.
The TSS entitles teachers to a 27.5 per cent enhancement on their pay, in place of the peculiarities of their calling, and the national leadership of the NUT had directed local affiliates of the union to resume strike action at the outset of the new academic year to press for the special allowance in about 13 states, including Delta, that are yet to comply.
Meanwhile, state government spends at least N2.4 billion on the salaries of teachers in its primary and secondary schools.
The amount, according to Muoboghare, includes a total of N1.9 billion committed monthly to the pay of instructors in the state’s secondary school system by the government, which also augments the pay of primary school teachers by N500m over the same period.
The commissioner said the amount stood Delta out as the state with the highest individual commitment to the payment of teachers; salary at that level, in the country.
According to him, the heavy economic burden the huge wage bill puts on the limited resources of the state government was self-evident, but the Uduaghan administration, in line with its commitment to the all-round development of the state, was equally making huge monthly commitments to non-emolument expenditure in the education sector and on infrastructure development in other sectors.
He assured that the state government was taking measures to ensure that the recent handover of schools to former mission owners did not negatively impact on the chances of those seeking secondary education in the state.