By Laleye Dipo
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has cautioned the government against ‘hasty’ reopening of schools, saying the lives of teachers and their pupils should be seriously considered before such action is taken.
The Principal Assistant Secretary of the Union in Niger State, Labaran Garba, gave the advice in Minna at the weekend after conducting journalists round the ultra-modern state secretariat of the organisation.
According to him, “We should not rush into it (opening of schools) so as not to draw pupils into the pandemic
“Teachers are more prone to contacting the diseases because they are closer to the pupils, as they are the first to meet the pupils in the event of either a pupil or teacher has contacted the disease, and that will aid the spread easily.”
Garba said the Union has submitted a memoranda to the Niger State Government on steps to take before the reopening of school, urging the government to, apart from critically looking into the submission, organise a ‘critical stakeholders meeting’ to fashion out the best approach that will lead to the reopening of schools.
He also asked the government to “seriously consider teachers in the sharing of palliatives when the schools reopen.”
Garba disclosed that N150million has been spent on the construction and furnishing of the ultra-modern secretariat, saying the funding of the project “is purely from the Union dues
“We do not owe anybody on this project; we did not collect any bank loan, there is no government intervention, this is done purely from our own 45 percent share of members’ contributions.”
The administrative building will accommodate all the principal officers of the Union and supporting staff. It also has two board rooms and a conference hall; it has a 1,000 capacity multi-purpose conference centre which is still under construction.