Primary Teachers protesting last December for their salaries in Oyo
Teachers in some states in Nigeria have been on strike demanding that they be paid. For example in Oyo state, teachers have been on strike since the middle of June and will remain so until pay and pensions are forthcoming. The strike was not only against the non-payment of salaries but also against plans to privatise some schools. School students joined in protests against these moves.The crisis in school funding in many areas across Nigeria has seen some teachers unpaid for five months. Yet at the same time the federal government is attempting to recruit half a million new teachers.
In a discussion in the upper house of parliament, the Senate, the deputy chair chair described the situation: 'We have to change our perception that teachers reward is in heaven; we need to discourage this attitude. We should rise to condemn the continuous owing of teachers. Why should teachers’ salary be the last to be paid.' Tellingly senators suggested that teachers' salaries be given the same priority as security. In so many states across the global South, security forces are paid while teachers are expected to work for nothing.
As we said in January: Organisations like the World Bank continue to bemoan the state of public education, more often than not blaming the teachers and demanding ever more draconian 'accountability' measures. We would like to see some of the World Bank education 'experts' trying to live on a Nigerian teacher's wage, even if it was paid regularly.
If you really want* education for all, World Bank economists, try paying teachers!
* Although we doubt if the World Bank does want what we would recognise as education for the vast majority of the world's children.