Court Halts El-Rufai’s Plan To Sack 21,000 Teachers In Kaduna

The Kaduna branch of National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered Kaduna State Government to stop the planned sack of 21,000 primary school teachers who failed competency test.

Over 21,000 out of 30,000 teachers who sat for the competency test organised by the state government were alleged to have failed and government moved to sack them resulted into protest from Nigerian Union of Teachers.

The teachers had in October dragged the government before the industrial court, asking the court to stop state government from sacking any teacher on the basis of the test conducted in June 2017.

Samuel Atum, the lawyer who represented the teachers, had on October 30 filed a motion of “interlocutory injunction”, asking the court to restrain the government from dismissing or disengaging any teacher on the basis of the test conducted in June 2017.

Justice Lawal Mani on Thursday at the hearing granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit and adjourned the case to February 6th, 2018.

Speaking with newsmen after the court session, the plaintiff’s counsel lauded the court for granting their order against the plans of the state government.

“This is democracy and the premise of democracy is the rule of law, so we expect nothing more than absolute submission by the state government to comply with the order of the court.

“I have confidence that the government will comply or obey this order.” he said

Meanwhile, hundreds of Teachers present at the court were seen jubilating and congratulating themselves over the court injunction.

LG Autonomy: Osun Backs NUT For Kicking Against LG Funding of Primary Schools

By Toba Adedeji
The kick against Local Government Autonomy got a boost on Tuesday as State Government of Osun threw its weight behind the Nigeria Union of Teachers over the funding of primary schools.
The State government through the Commissioner for Education, Mr. Omotunde Young restated the government’s non-backing of local government autonomy in a rally by members of the NUT which terminated in front of the State Secretariat.
The NUT members in their scores appeared in uniform and chanting solidarity songs while some of them were armed with placard, with several inscription, read: “Enough of Toying with The Future of Our Youth, Save Primary Education from Imminent Collapse”.
The NUT members led by the Union’s Chairman, Mr.Wakeel Amuda while addressing the Commissioner for Education, Mr Omotunde Young said, “Our demand on local government autonomy is that our salary should be on first line charge.
According to The Chairman, “We are not ready and we won’t take it if primary school teachers and maintenance of schools are put in the hand of local government councils. I am now appealing on to Government of the State of Osun to help us to put up memos to our House of Assembly, when they are passing the bill of local government autonomy, teachers salaries and maintenance of schools should not be put in the hands of local council.
The Union handed over several letters which conveyed their pleas to the Commissioner.
According to one of the letters titled, “Request For Audience With NUT On The Issues of Local Government Autonomy” signed by Principal State Secretary, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed which was sighted by our correspondent, stated that, “The leadership of the National body of NUT Abuja have requested States to seek for audience with the State governor and House of Assembly on the issue of Local Government Autonomy.”
“NUT is against the Autonomy of Local Government because in 1990-1994 when the funding of primary school education was under them, teachers’ salaries was messed up to the extent that teachers were owed 6 to 12 months continuously on purported reasons of “zero allocation”.
“If autonomy will be granted, primary school teachers’ salaries be made first charge from the sources and handed over to State government for payment.”
In his address, the Commissioner assured the NUT members of government’s support for their struggle and ensure that education in the state is not shambles.
He said, “It is your right under democracy to have rally like this and I love this rally because is peaceful and their is no obstruction of any kind.
“Education is the most important factor in any society. If the society is well run we must thank the teachers and those who have make the right decision on education so at no time we should under rate the important of teachers and education.”
“I am happy that your demands is in concern about what will happen to the level of education. As teachers we must first know that Nigeria is called Federal Republic of Nigeria which means “federation”. It is a relationship between one region and the other; the relationship is strictly between the Federal government and the State. Ghana is not a Federal Republic so we do not have that same. Federation that we are being called is not just a wish or title but is what form the foundation of our relationship and if you recollect as teachers that foundation actually came from the federal government and the regions, is single relationship, that relationship is originally between the federal government and the regions which had now been broken down to the State and it has not been changed.
Local government is also important, they are important centres for development and operations. Usually, anywhere in the world what you have is to get development through the local government but it doesn’t go beyond that. While you have stated your case as that of put salary and education on first line charge, it is much more than that. The call for local government autonomy is a call that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world; in any federation because federation is between an entity and second entity. The local government is an entity within and under the state. As a teacher you need to educate people on this and the politicians who do not know, many of them dropped out of your schools and they don’t know and many of them didn’t come to Osun Schools to be properly educated.
Omotunde posited that, the call for local government autonomy is borne out of selfishness, laziness in thinking and planning deficiency.
He said, “The reason for their clamouring is because we all go cap in hand to Abuja to collect money not because they want to use it as avenue for development. The call is not driven by development focus but greed and lack of vision. Those who know and don’t want to agree we won’t allow them to disrupt this country.

Governor El-Rufai’s Politics And Teachers’ Revolt

By Erasmus Ikhide

“Your Excellency Sir, we are not sacking teachers in Kaduna. Rather, we are replacing unqualified people who are unfit to be called teachers to save the future of the next generation.” That was Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s response to his Ekiti State counterpart, Governor Ayodele Fayose who chided him that the sacking of 22,000 teachers in Kaduna State could ignite climatic upsurge in crime wave and other ancillary social vices.

The teachers and the labour unions have been up in arms, protesting against the governor for daring to protest the rottenness in the educational system of the State and his attempt to arrest the drift from total collapse. It’s a case of two protesters: the first is insisting on force-feeding poor contents into students’ minds, while the latter is resisting that giving the best education to the students is the responsibility of trainable teachers. It’s like saying, ‘you can’t very well explain to your students how Newton accounted for planetary motion if you hadn’t boned up your Newtonian mechanics first.

The governor pius stand is hinged on the latest poor showing in the WASSCE performance. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report has it that in September 2016, 158,035 students from Kaduna State took the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, between 2011 and 2015. Only 12.8 per cent obtained credit passes in five subjects or more, including in English Language and Mathematics. Also, the Kaduna State Educational Resource Centre reported that over the same four-year period, out of 135,957 results released, only 19,137 or 14 per cent passed with the required number of credits for admission to any tertiary institution.

The illiterate teachers should have known that Governor El-Rufai who has the penchant for troubleshooting wouldn’t take the poor output of Kaduna State pupils kindly. Early in 2016, the governor embarked on a suicide mission by instigating a legislation that stipulates prison terms for parents who refused to send their wards to schools. The injuries that resulted from it has not been fully healed to date. Several efforts were made by those who are profiting from the poverty of uneducated people.

As if that was not enough, he further went for the jugular by banning street begging, a tradition that is in sick and soak with Islamic foundation of giving to the less privilege, a trade that has made thousands powerful political power brokers billionaire in the state! The illiterate teachers’ fracas with the governor is long expected, given his style of unfriendliness or his usual inability to always convince his people on policy issues since becoming governor.

Governor El-Rufai’s problem is his selfsame believe that his people would always understand his policy and passion for altruistic leadership towards a liberated state through the development of the people’s mind and the ethical restructuring of their mindset. He has been governing in abstract, believing that a “state or nation can not be greater than her own teacher”! He probably want to do justice to humanity, in a clime that views and receives education with contempt.

Poor El-Rufai expected this gesture to be applauded for his decision to replaced these illiterate teachers in a state or country that wishes to be ‘greater than her own teacher’ without clinical educational standards for the development of the human’s mind. Governor El-Rufai is not the only governor to face this tribulation. Those who made such efforts at righting the wrongs in the educational sectors, including his predecessors at their various states were either intimidated out of the policy or voted out of office.

In 2012 the late Governor Patrick Yakowa shocked Nigerians when he said a verification exercise carried out in the state revealed that no fewer than 2,000 teachers secured their appointments with fake certificates. However, he failed to deal with the issue, forthwith. The backlash is the continued poor grades and by extension poor leader at every level of our national development.

In 2013, a report in the state’s ministry of education revealed that of a total of 1,599 teachers selected from across the state who were given primary four tests in Mathematics and Basic literacy; only one of them scored 75 percent, 251 scored between 50 to 75 percent and 1,300 scored below 25 percent. When the same examination was conducted for 1,800 primary school pupils, virtually all the pupils failed the exam! Surprisingly, no action was taken against the functional illiterate teachers by governor Mukhtar Yaro!

Prior to Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s re-election in 2011, he paid an unscheduled visit to a primary school in the state capital where he encountered an illiterate teacher who could not read her own name in an affidavit she deposed to. That prompted him to organized aptitude text for all the teachers across the state. Painfully, Oshiomhole could not implement the outcome of the aptitude text and his threat to weed off the illiterate teachers from the system turned out to be mere threat. He caved in because of his second term ambition.

He later gave vent to that frustration at a town hall meeting held in July 2013, disclosing that from the audit carried out in the state, “We found that of all our primary school teachers, only 1,287, representing 9% out of 14,484 teachers have proper records in our system. 91% have various forms of discrepancies in their records. About 1,379 teachers, representing 11.5% claim that they obtained their Primary School Certificates after they had been employed as teachers. In fact, some obtained their Primary School Certificates not more than two years ago, from the school in which they were employed as teachers.”

Oshiomhole was like his counterparts across the country. They lack the balls to step up to the rot in the educational system and ride it off the plague for political reasons. That is even when the figures of Nigerian out of school number has increased to 13.2 million, yet States and federal governments budgetary allocations to education are far below UNESCO benchmark.

With the poor population of more than 90% in the country, it will be fair to say that Nigeria has not been able to provide effective education to almost 75% of the children roaming the streets. This is an extremely depressing figure knowing that education is the bedrock of nation building or great nations. The time is now to awake ourselves and start to work towards improving our education system.

Part of our drawback as a nation unfortunately, is the fact that Nigeria has been plagued with poor leadership over time, whose education or lack of it cannot develop or move the country forward. They are probably too blinded to know that education plays critical role in deciding both political and economic growth of any nation. They are too bereaved of common sense to be aware that once citizens are educated, they brings fame, wealth and prosperity to the country which help to galvanized the development of any country.

They have no idea that educated populace are less aggressive, as such, the society remains in peace, stable in the long run. Education serves as a unifying tool because educated minds work in similar ways, united by the unique sense of reasoning and almost the same sense of right and wrong.

The illiterates teachers have to be flushed out of the system to pave the way for trainable new set of teachers who will impact actual and true knowledge on Kaduna State students. If Governor El-Rufai pulls through, the up coming generation would forever be grateful to him for his statesmanship. He would be remembered as the governor who sacrificed his political ambition for the future generation. The retention of the illiterate teachers in the educational system in Kaduna State, as it is the case with other states of the federation can only bring damnation to Nigeria now and in the future.

Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos.

Email: [email protected]

Follow me twitter @ikhide_erasmus1

El-Rufai Vs NUT: The Battle For Educational Reforms

By Segun Ojo

From the beginning of civilisation until now education has been the major propellant behind man’s voyage in all spheres of life. We all can testify to the spectacular jump in human knowledge and its applications particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Though, our mediocre education has taken us this far, if we can call where we are far. But how much farther can it take us in an ever competitive world. It is sickening to see that we are bent on making education totally irrelevant to our quest to be counted among the biggest economies of the world.

Looking at the trending educational crisis in Kaduna state between Governor Nasir El-Rufai and the Nigeria Union of Teachers, relating to the competency test organized by the state government for 33,000 primary school teachers out of which 21,780 teachers woefully failed the primary four pupils examination organized for them. One begin to wondering ,even asking a rhetorical question that who really is a teacher and who could a pupil be when teachers who were supposed to be a role model for the pupils in primary school, to give basic and qualitative education they deserve, could act so disrespectful to the profession that gave birth to them. …who really is a teacher?

The teacher stands at the most important point in the educational process and must be well versed in the act of teaching. This means that a person called teacher must have acquired the skills required to perform his/her role. A teacher should be someone who had undergone a long period of socialized training and is regarded as a moral instructor, moral educator and a moral model for his/her students. Teaching as a profession has to do with impacting skills, knowledge, information, and attitude among others to the learner. The quality of teachers found in our primary schools goes a long way in determining the quality of pupils from this level of education.

Therefore, teaching cannot be done by just anybody because it involves a body of knowledge being impacted to a less experienced or immature person through conscious and deliberate approach, that teaching as a process requires some knowledgeable personalities, who offer the necessary knowledge and skills to another person. No education can rise above the quality of its teachers.

Developing a functional pool of trained intelligence that will drive the building of a virile nation is a daunting and time consuming exercise which unfortunately never ends. And no country can depend on the human capital of other countries to provide solutions to its development challenges. The critical importance of a locally available highly trained workforce in nation building is undeniable.

And as being posited that a unionist is always believe to be someone who sees reasons to every situation and believes in truth and plight of members in a reasonable manner. Therefore, there is need for the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Kaduna state chapter to see reasons why the 21,780 teachers who failed the primary four pupils examination have not done well to motivate a true spirit of unionism to fight for them but to rather leave the system for the competent and fresh brain to come in, because the hands that build do not destroy and teachers are known as small god who preach knowledge in any society. A house built on faulty foundation cannot stand.

Many things may go wrong between the state government and the teachers but the fact  still remains that education reform is a necessity that all need to embrace, as government, teachers, unionists, stakeholders, parents and other members of the society, qualitative and basic education is as important as the daily meal to any human.

Disappointing, when the NUT Chairman, Kaduna state chapter, Audu Amba was claimed to have said those failed teachers are his members and they have duty to protect them, the question that may come to mind is that, is Kaduna NUT happy with how their members failed an exam that was meant for primary four pupils in the state, or do they enjoy the song of failure people are singing for their members?

NUT should look beyond protecting members’ course but rather think of the children whose lives will be affected in the system. Unionists and teachers are also parents to some children; they should imagine what their notion will be if their wards are being thought by some set of teachers who could not only speak good English but also failed a primary four pupil examination in a larger number. Lord Lugard said if a tree is cut in the forest imagine what your reaction will be if such an act is done to you. A blind does not lead a blind.

Every state of the nation need to go back to the drawing board of education reform because we cannot continue politicizing the process of educational sector and want a better result. Making a reference to some states of the nation who take the lead in the education reform particularly at primary school level, Osun is one of those states who is in forefront for education reform per excellence.

Considering the quality of primary school teachers in Osun state one will have to commend the efforts of the government and the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his kind hearted in making qualitative basic education a necessity for children in the state. Construction of ultra model schools with modern facilities for the pupil across the state in order to ensure a conducive learning environment.

What a comparison! There is a need for Kaduna NUT and umbrella body of workers – NLC to give a full support to Governor El-Rufai in his fresh campaign to revive the primary school education from unqualified teachers who could not pass the basic assessment of their pupil. If the teachers and the NUT failed to see any good in what the Governor is doing then they should realize that a blind does not lead a blind.

El-Rufai Vs Kaduna Teachers: “Why Should Our Children Sacrifice For Teachers”?

By Joachim Macebong

Governor El Rufai is a controversial political figure by any standard. He caused a ruckus on Twitter during the Southern Kaduna crisis by arresting the driving force of the movement, Audu Maikori.

This time around, it’s Kaduna primary school teachers that El Rufai is up against. After most of them failed the competency test organised by the Governor, they took to the streets to protest their impending sack.

3 Takeaways…….

Show of shame

Back in August 2013, the nation watched a verification exercise in Edo state where a teacher was unable to read out her age declaration affidavit in front of then Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole. Many people were already aware of the state of Nigeria’s education sector, but the fact that this exchange was captured on video made it all the more powerful, a moment engraved in history.

Unfortunately, that teacher is not the exception; she is the rule in Nigeria’s education sector. Conversations around the sector are dominated disproportionately by the ASUU strikes, but this is a mistake. The real damage to Nigeria’s future occurs at primary school level, where children are unable to get the basic literacy and numeracy skills on which all other educational attainment is built. The reason for that is obvious: poorly trained teachers.

At primary school level, the most important schooling factor is teacher quality. You can’t change the family background of a child, but you can make sure that if they get to school, they get the best teaching possible.

El Rufai’s courageous moves

Considering this, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s recent moves to improve teacher quality in Kaduna should be met with approval. A Primary 4 equivalent competence exam was conducted for teachers in Kaduna state, and two-thirds failed to get up to the 75% required to pass. Indeed, if you don’t know up to 75% of what a teacher of Primary 4 pupils should know, why are you a primary school teacher?

Such scandalous figures are not unusual. In 2013, the Commissioner of Education for Kaduna State suggested that 1,300 of 1,599 teachers across the state scored below 25% in basic math and literacy, with only one – yes, one – scoring 75%. As this state of affairs is unlikely to have significantly changed in the following four years, it is safe to say that the present administration still battles with these failings.

Opinions on El-Rufai are sharply divided especially on social media, but even his harshest critics may find it hard to fault his education reforms. He is attempting a change that has frustrated other state governors in other states. Accepted wisdom suggests that Kayode Fayemi’s failed re-election bid could be traced to a clash over competency tests for teachers. The teachers felt the tests were the prelude to a mass sacking, and dug their heels in. As elections approached, Fayemi backed down; but it was too late by that time, and the teachers voted for Fayose instead.

In contrast, Adams Oshiomhole, previously mentioned, discovered a similar level of rot. Having initially sacked many teachers, he reinstated some of them as elections approached, ensuring a successful handover to his chosen successor.

Will history repeat itself?

Teacher unions are typically very powerful because they can organise against you at the polls. Unions, in general, protect their members, and the ones in Nigeria are no different, even if it means protecting the worst of the bunch. So El-Rufai’s move is particularly brave considering he is up for re-election in only 18 months.

Expectedly, the National Labour Congress Kaduna Chapter has come out against the move, calling the government’s side of the story ‘propaganda’, and suggesting that the teachers found wanting were trained by the government. In fact, protests have been staged across Kaduna.

But this claim does not hold up to scrutiny.

As mentioned above, in Ekiti, the teachers didn’t even take the competency test, to begin with, and turned on Kayode Fayemi as a result. Unions display resistance to any sort of change, and the result, in this case, is to hold millions of children back from their potential. They know that many within their ranks are not up to the necessary standard, but place those substandard teachers above the wider interests of society.

El-Rufai is the latest governor to come up against this tendency, and if he succeeds, his fellow governors may find the courage to do what is required. In spite of this, the NUT in Kaduna has promised a total strike if the teachers are sacked.

Speaking proudly, the NUT chairman in the state, Audu Amba, said, “They are our members and we have a duty to protect our own.” But why should our children foot the bill for their protection?

Source: StearsNG

Gov. Aregbesola Approves Automatic Conversion of Teachers As Education Officers

The State Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has approved the automatic conversion of qualified graduate teachers as Education Officers and National Certificate of Education as Assistant Education officers in public schools across the state.

This was disclosed today by the State’s Head of Service, Dr Olowogboyega Oyebade while addressing teachers at Ayedaade High School, Ikire and ADC High School, Apomu both in Osun West Education District.

With this new policy, there is one harmonized service which means movement from the teaching service to the local government service and the state civil service have now been harmonized and unified hence movement from one service to another is now possible.

The Head of Service also disclosed that he has secured the approval of Mr. Governor and backdated the promotion of a teacher who retired last week Friday to that of a permanent secretary/tutor general.

He therefore charged teachers in the state to reciprocate this kind gesture of the State Governor by redoubling their efforts and ensure that their students pass their external examinations so that they can now begin to have 100% in their external examinations and see teachers as their mentors and role models who have positively impacted on their lives.

He also called on teachers to see students as service to humanity and God’s assignment to them to mould and positively affect their lives. He then charged them to use less of corporal punishment in enforcing discipline and let the schools to be attractive and child friendly.

The Head of Service also disclosed that special allowances would be paid to teachers teaching in rural schools while it would  be compulsory for teachers to have rural posting and experience in the state while  teachers would be moved from urban to rural and from  rural to urban  schools as a policy.

The Head of Service taught English Language at both Ayedaade High School, Ikire and also at ADC High School, Apomu, the Permanent Secretary/Tutor General for Osun Central Education District, Mr Kola Obisesan taught Variation as a topic in the two schools while the Permanent secretary/Tutor General for Osun West Education District, Mrs. Grace Ajiboye taught formal and informal letter writing in English Language to Class 3 students in the two schools.

Dr Olowogboyega Oyebade then adjudged teachers in the state as the best of workers as they would not only review their daily teaching assignments but also prepare teaching notes for the following day. He then appealed to the teachers to consider the huge government expenditure on education by adding value to the students and make them to become successful future leaders.

The visibly happy Permanent Secretary/ Tutor General for Osun West Education District, Mrs Grace Ajiboye observed that the teaching campaign is a step in the right direction, which according to her will boost the quality of education in the state.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Irewole Local Government Education Authority, Mr Remi Babayode pointed out that the usage of volunteer teachers to boost quality of education in the state is long overdue.

While appreciating the wisdom behind the current education drive, the veteran teacher, who was a 1962 alumnus of Ayedaade Grammar School and who was a principal in that school for 19 years, expressed the hope that the initiative would deliver maximum results.

Autonomy: Teachers Reject Giving Primary Education Control To LGs

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Osun State wing has appealed to the state House of Assembly to place teachers’ salaries and emoluments in the first line charge from the federal allocation in the proposed local government autonomy.

The union members who besieged the Assembly complex, on Tuesday in their hundreds carried placard with different inscriptions demanding for special funding for primary education.

Speaking, the chairman of the union, Comrade Wakeel Amuda said, the step became imperative to save primary education from collapse, saying, primary education funding had suffered setback when it was under the management of local government.

Amuda noted that the union was not against the proposed local government autonomy but hinted that teachers were being owed salaries for months in some states in 1994 when local government had absolute control on primary school funding.

The union chairman who maintained that primary education was key to national growth posited that primary school teachers should be paid through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) from first line charge from the federation Account.

He urged the lawmakers to use their positions of privilege to legislate on the matter to position primary education for advancement and effective management and called for handover of payment of salaries of primary school teachers to state government as a way of pulling the dwindling primary school system out of wood.

According to him, “Local government lack experience and political will to fund and manage primary education; any attempt to handover primary education to local government amount to consigning primary education to the abyss of total collapse.

He charged the lawmakers to facilitate enactment of appropriate laws and make adequate budgetary allocations to the education sector to enable effective management of primary education in the country.

In his remark, the deputy speaker of the Assembly, Hnourable Akintunde Adegboye assured the teachers that the parliament would look into their demands, saying teachers are key to education development in the country.

Receiving a document containing the positions of the union from the union chairman, he said the house would pay attention to every detail of the documents with a view to coming to acceptable submission.

He pointed out that the ongoing debate on local government autonomy was key, hence the need for stakeholders in policy making to be holistic in their approach to the issue.

The deputy speaker who described education as agent of socialization said, government must give priority to functional education in the interest of prosperity.

Osun Assembly Stops ‘Group Loans’ Amongst Teachers

By Israel Afolabi

The State of Osun House of Assembly has ordered the stoppage of group loans amongst teachers in the state.

Chairman, House Committee on Education, Honourable Oladoyin Bamisayemi gave the directive at a meeting with primary school teachers and officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in a bid to resolve the dispute arising from alleged over-deductions of salaries in respect of loans obtained.

The directive followed the complaints of fraud by teachers that their salaries were being over-deducted for the repayment of the collected loans, which were meant to take care of welfare of the teachers.

Bamisayemi lamented that his committee has received a lot of negative reports concerning the deductions in teachers’ salaries across the state by SUBEB officials for the repayment of the loan.

According to him, “As a matter of urgency, the house had to meet and resolve the issue before it gets out of hand especially in  Ife-South local government area where some affected teachers almost collapsed”.

The chairman added that the meeting was called to ascertain the reason behind the deductions of teachers’ salaries in the state and to what extent.

To know the details on all the loans collected in the affected local government, the parliament has mandated all the banks involved to appear for proper verification and clarification on the group loan deduction.

The Assembly then ordered that the group loan should be stopped in the state, just as it ordered the SUBEB to stop deduction of teachers’ salaries until it gets to the root of the matter.

In his contribution, the state chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Wakeel Amudah said the idea of group loan started in 2005 and it was meant for members’ welfare, but unfortunately changed to aid corruption amongst officials.

Comrade Amudah confirmed that NUT members were also not sincere to the extent that some members had to forge NUT letter to obtain the loan, which has now backfired.

Meanwhile, in their separate remarks, members of the house committee blamed the concerned teachers for their involvement in group loan which is now difficult for them to bear.

Teachers on Strike in Delta State

The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State Chapter, on Monday defiled the state government’s directive to return to work, a check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has revealed.

A correspondent of NAN that visited five public schools in Asaba, the state capital on Monday, reports that the schools were not in session.

The teachers had been on strike since March 9. At the Westend Mixed Secondary School, Asaba, many of the students were seen in groups at the entrance of the school because the gate was locked.

A student, Miss Chigozirimi Okafor, told NAN that she was in school because of the government’s directive that public schools should reopen today, Monday.

“I am surprised that our school’s gate is still under lock and key,’’ she said.

Okafor appealed to the state government and the leadership of the state chapter of the NUT to resolve their differences so that public school pupils could resume their studies.

NAN also observed that the situation was the same at Uzoigwe Primary School, Women Affairs Primary School, Government Model Secondary, and Zappa Mixed Secondary School, all in Asaba.

The pupils were seen in groups loitering outside their school gates.
Chigozie Nkwa of Uzoigwe Primary School simply told NAN that “there is no school.”

NAN reports that the state government issued a statement on Sunday that principals, teachers and students should go back to schools on Monday.

The statement added that should the teachers fail to obey the directive, the state government might apply the principle of: “No work, No pay”. The teachers had embarked on a strike on March 9 due to non-payment of salaries since November 2016.

They are also protesting the refusal by the state government to honour teachers transferred from the teaching service to ministries by the state government and the non-payment of pensioners’ benefits, among others.

When NAN visited the secretariat of the NUT, the chairman and the secretary were not available for comments as they were said to be meeting with the stakeholders. Also, several calls made to the cell phone of the state Commissioner of Basic and Secondary Education for comments on the development were not returned as at the time of filing this report.

Similarly, NAN was not able to see the commissioner during a visit to his office for his comments.