About 80% of 7,600 secondary school teachers recently employed by the Kaduna State government as a part of its education reform policy have received between five and seven months of accumulated salary arrears.
These teachers who were recruited in mid-2021 were posted to public secondary schools across the state in mid-2022 but were not paid until early February 2023, apart from a few of them that got a month’s salary in December 2022.
A source within the education system in the state who spoke in confidence said efforts were underway gear to pay the remaining 20 per cent whose employment ranking and bank verification, among other technical hitches, are being looked into.
The media (including The Sun) civil society, and Open Government Partnership (OGP) technical working groups in Kaduna State have been concerned over unpaid teachers’ salaries and the effects on the quality of work they are doing.
The affected teachers have mixed feelings but expressed optimism that their salaries would henceforth be paid as when due, once all the technical hitches claimed to have been responsible for the delay are addressed by the concerned government functionaries.
One of the teachers that got one month’s pay in December 2022 and an additional five months’ arrears last week, Mr. T. Oke, said, “We are 10 new teachers in the school where I teach. Nine of us have been paid. Only one other person is yet to be paid but she has gone to the ministry as instructed and we hope she would be paid soon.
“I think this is a good development because we were initially apprehensive about the whole thing. What this means is that teachers will now be able to put in their best to justify their salaries.”
Another teacher, Ibrahim Abbas, asked his colleagues who were yet to get their salary alert to be patient, expressing optimism that all would get their salaries.
He said, “For those of us that are yet to receive salary, please, ensure you go to the Ministry of Education to confirm your details, if they are intact.
“I urge our members not to panic based on the rumours making the rounds that our money is with the bank. No bank will hold your salary for more than 24 hours because it will return to the employer. Please, let’s all confirm our details and patiently wait, hopefully, next week, I was given assurance.”
Another teacher, Abubakar Yusuf Umar, who was among the remaining 20 per cent yet to be paid, asked, “Please, am I the only Zenith Bank customer that has not been paid? I got my PSN last month but I have not seen any alert in my account.”
About a month ago, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. Halliru Musa Soba, had hinged the delay on technical hitches associated with poor documentation at the point of the employment of the affected teachers, which was being rectified to ensure smooth payment of’ salaries, henceforth.
“We will pay their allowances this January. We have an issue with ranking, when they were employed. They were just given ‘class teachers’ and how do we promote them in such a manner? No nomenclature.
“So that is what is responsible for the delay in their payments. We paid them one month’s salary in December to test the process. We have the money to pay them but we need to know their grades.”