By NBF News

The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) yesterday endorsed the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan for next month's poll at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The endorsement was contained in an address presented to President Jonathan by the NUT leader, Comrade Michael Olukoya who  led a 120-man delegation from all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to a parley with the President.

Comrade Olukoya said President Jonathan had endeared himself to all Nigerian teachers through his various actions since he assumed office last year, adding that the teachers looked forward to continuing to work with him to improve current standard of education after his anticipated victory in next month's elections.

The NUT President particularly commended Jonathan for the Presidential Summit on Education held in October, 2010, the establishment of the Presidential Task Force on Education, and  his administration's strict adherence to the rule of law, which has resulted in labour's cordial working relationship with the government.

'Our prayer and hope is that we shall continue to build on this harmony in order to ensure that that the nation's dreams and aspirations, and the yearnings of the entire citizens for quality education for Nigerian children will be realised as you march into the next stanza of your administration's post-May 29 programme of activities to give education the desired lift,' Comrade Olukoya told the President.

'Nigerian teachers are endeared to you by the steps you have taken so far and those that you have promised to take to revamp the Nigerian education industry,' he added.

In his response, President Jonathan assured the union that the Federal Government would set up a National Secondary Schools Commission to strengthen the secondary school system.

Responding to concerns by the NUT that neither the states nor local governments were accepting full responsibility for the  funding of primary education in the country, the President said with success at the polls, he would continue to work with the National Assembly to make appropriate laws for good governance of the country, adding that existing problematic laws would be amended.

'If necessary, we will amend the Constitution to protect the educational sector and provide qualitative education to our children, otherwise, we cannot hope to achieve our Vision 20-2020', President Jonathan said.

The President also assured the NUT that their demands for a Teachers' Salary Scale, better teaching environment and facilities, as well as strengthening the entire sector through better conditions of service for teachers will be given due consideration by the Presidential Task Force on Education which was inaugurated in January.