Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Nigeria Union of Teachers has alerted the Niger state government that it will direct its members to “sit at home” if within 21 days its demands for total overhaul of the entire education system is not met.
The ultimatum is contained in a communique issued at the end of the State Wing Executive Council of the union which took place at the new Teachers House in Minna the state capital on October 19.
The 11-point demand of the teachers contained in the communique jointly signed by the state chairman of the Union Comrade Ibrahim Umar and Principal Assistant Secretary General Comrade Labaran Garba, include the immediate “bringing back of teachers in Junior Secondary Schools withdrawn by the State Universal Basic Education Board.”
The NUT noted that the withdrawal of the teachers “will cripple and jeopardise the educational system in the state if not revisited”.
The union also expressed concern at the “inadequate and lack of well equipped classrooms in most of our secondary schools in the state particularly in the urban areas where we have overpopulation of students” noting that “the situation is hampering effective learning environment”.
According to the document, NUT wants the government to “urgently recruit more teachers to fill vacant posts created as a result of retirement, death and transfer of teachers.”
According to the communiqué, government should evacuate internally displaced people now being accommodated in schools across the state as their existence in the schools “is unhealthy for the smooth, effective and efficient running of our educational system.”
The union observed with great concern the non provision of “running cost for both principals and head teachers” and therefore asked the government to immediately review this policy in the interest of educational development of the state.
It is also opposed to the operational timetable released by the government for the reopening of public schools which makes JSS 1 and 2 students to be in schools from Monday to Wednesday and SS1-SS111 on Thursday to Saturday adding that because of the implication of the policy on the entire education sector and in particular teachers “government is advised to invite key players including the leadership of the NUT, ANCOPPS and AOPSHON for their inputs”.
According to the document, the union noted with serious regrets the “disregard to unions correspondences by the government and the way and manner teachers are being treated in their places of work” saying this should stop.