The poor state of the educational system in the country, has once again brought to fore as the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened to go on strike over unpaid salaries. 19 states currently owe teachers salaries. This is surprising considering the billions of Naira that state governments have received as bail out from the Federal Government. Some of the teachers are being owed out rightly, while the others are being paid half salaries. Despite owing salaries, many of these governors have embarked on white elephant projects.
The unpaid salaries have a negative effect on the teachers, pupils, and the society as a whole. The teachers will lack motivation to give their best to the students. Many of them will be forced to go into other businesses during school hours. Had these teachers being paid salaries, billions of Naira would have flowed into the various economies, thus stimulating economic growth.
The poor education received by the students leaves them unprepared for the other tiers of education. Many of the government schools cater to the lower strata of the society, who can not afford better options. These students will end up barely employable, and contributing sub optimally to the country’s economy. Many of these students will end up idle, and idle hands lend themselves to crime and violence. Employers would be forced to retrain them at great costs, hence their preference for expatriates and Nigerians that studied abroad.
The Federal Government seems not to have held the states to the conditions it gave them when it released the first tranche of bailout funds. States were supposed to apply bailout funds to paying salaries and pensions. What then will happen with the second tranche of funds that have been released.