The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has said that it would oppose any move by government to privatise education in the country "by deliberately undermining infrastructural development in public schools in order to encourage the growth of private ones."
The union said the level of infrastructural decay and near absence of facilities in public schools and the corresponding growth in private schools in spite of exorbitant schools fees is a subtle ploy by government to undermine and gradually privatize public schools.
Speaking at the 56th National Delegate Conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, National Chairman of the union, Comrade Michael Olukoya, said: "You are all witnesses to the magnitude of infrastructural decay and near absence of educational facilities in our public schools. This adverse situation has gone a long way to compound the deplorable condition of our public schools. This despicable condition lends a tacit support and stimulation for the growth of private schools, in spite of the enormous school fees charged by them.
One may not dig deep to uncover the fact that most of these schools are owned by key government functionaries past and present. The scenario creates a picture that it is a deliberate but tacit policy of states to under-develop public schools and encourage their private enterprise to prosper. The NUT says No to this subtle approach to the privatization of education in the country".
He lamented that since the insurgency in the North-east region commenced, the union has lost over 173 teachers.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka wogu, expressed appreciation to the union for industrial harmony existing between it and employers and promised to do everything possible to support the NUT in its quest to boost education.