The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has said the continuity of the Federal Teachers’ Scheme (FTS) is under threat.
The Executive Secretary, UBEC, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, while speaking at an interactive session with the beneficiaries of the 2020/2021 FTS in Lagos State, warned that the scheme might eventually collapse as funding to sustain the programme was not forthcoming.
The FTS is a two-year intervention programme established by the Federal Government in 2006 to assist states in addressing teacher shortage at the basic education level. The FG pays each participant an allowance of N30,000.00 per month.
Bobboyi said, “We keep pushing so that the scheme does not collapse. Unfortunately, it may collapse because the FG is considering discontinuing the programme.”
According to him, 3,962 participants enrolled in the scheme nationwide; disclosing that N1.9bn was budgeted for 2021, as approved by the National Assembly (NASS).
He further disclosed that there was zero allocation for the scheme in the 2022 budget while no additional allocation was made by NASS for the 2023 aspect of the scheme.
“Though this won’t affect the payment of salaries/allowances up to the end of the year, but the engagement of another set of participants from 2023 is threatened except we are able to get another source of funding,” Bobboyi explained.
He emphasised the need to look at the internal resources of UBEC with a view to addressing the emerging challenges within the teaching profession.
Teachers currently participating in the scheme called for a review of the N30,000 allowance that they are being paid; saying surviving with N30,000 amidst the economic hardship was difficult.
They also appealed to the government to retain them at the completion of the two-year programming by absorbing them, either at the Federal or State level.
The teachers admitted that the series of training they had gone through simplified teaching and learning, adding that the population of pupils have continued to increase; particularly with the introduction of Project zero by the Lagos State Government.
They however stressed the need for infrastructural development to accommodate the rising population in schools.
The Executive Chairman, SUBEB Lagos, Wahab Alawiye-King, described the contributions of FTS teachers in the State as huge and commendable, noting that the state government placed beneficiaries of the scheme in the employment priority list.
He disclosed that 2,000 teachers were employed in the last employment exercise while five per cent of the number were under the special category such as FTS and other teacher development programmes.
Source:- Daily Trust