By Philip Yatai
Kaduna – The Kaduna state government is to pay all outstanding salaries of the newly recruited primary school teachers in the state by end of September.
Malam Ja’afaru Sani, Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology made this known on Friday in Kaduna at a training for primary teachers.
Primary one teachers in the state are undergoing training on Jolly phonics teaching methodology, organised by Universal Learning Solutions (ULS), in collaboration with Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had in March 2018 recruited 11,395 qualified teachers for its public primary schools.
The recruitment was the first batch of 25,000 vacancies announced by the state government to fill the gaps created after the sack of about 22,000 alleged unqualified primary teachers in January.
However, the new teachers posted to all primary schools across the 23 local government areas of the state were owed between three to four months salaries.
He explained that the decision to clear the outstanding salaries was the outcome of a meeting with Gov. Nasir El-Rufai on the issue on Monday.
“In addition to clearing all the backlog of salaries, the Governor has equally directed that the responsibility of payment of primary school teachers’ salaries and allowances be transferred to the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) from the respective local government councils,” Sani said.
The commissioner also said that the governor had also declared free education for all female students in the state’s public secondary schools.
He explained that the state government decided to remove all hindrance to girl-child education because of the strategic role of women in Nation building.
He said that the ministry had sent a directive to that effect to all zonal offices and secondary schools for implementation.
“Primary one to six were the ones enjoying free education in the state, but the governor, considering the importance of girl child education decided that all female students should be educated for free,” he said.
Sani said that the training was one among several capacity building programmes organised to strengthen the capacity of teachers in the state.
“This is because we cannot achieve the quality we desire in our public schools without improving the quality of our teachers.
“We will continue to do our best in ensuring that teachers are well motivated and equipped with skills to deliver quality teaching in public schools so our children can have a better future,” Sani said.
Earlier, Senior Project Manager in the NGO, Mr Richard Turnbull, said that the NGO is training 960 primary one teachers and 40 education officials in the Zaria, Kaduna and Zankwa centres.
Turnbull described Jolly phonics as a special literacy teaching method of using sounds, letters and fun to teach primary pupils how to read and write.
He explained that the method was designed to equip teachers with the expertise and tools required to improve reading and writing skills in English of primary one pupils in public schools.
“Jolly phonics is a fun and child-centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic sounds, widely recognised as the most effective way to teach children to read and write in English.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Kaduna SUBEB to deliver this intensive training to teachers and dedicated government officials of Kaduna State,” he said.
He thanked the state government for the opportunity to work together for the children of the state toward a brighter future.