Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has decried the continued closure of primary and secondary schools in some local government areas in the state as a result if insecurity, saying the development will increase the number of out-of-school children in the state.
The Secretary of the Union, Labaran Garba, told journalists in Minna yesterday that the closure of the schools would also aggravate the social problems the state is presently facing.
Primary and secondary schools in Shiroro Rafi, Munya, Mariga Local Government Areas have been closed for years due to attacks by bandits on some of the schools.
Labaran said pupils and students in these schools have lost one academic year already, and would lose more if steps are not taken to reopen the institutions.
He advised the government to take immediate step to secure the schools so that they will be reopened.
Labaran also hinted that the Union could drag the Niger State Government to court over its continued withholding of deductions from teachers’ salaries, an act he described as illegal.
He explained that the non-release of the NUT dues was already incapacitating the activities of the union which has made it impossible to pay workers’ salaries, pensions, and gratuities and even run th secretariat.
The secretary said the Union has already sent a memo to the government on the issue that “they have no right to withhold any Union dedication.”
Labaran, however, commended the state government for setting up the N50million Teachers Endowment Fund, saying: “It is a good omen and development, as education requires urgent support from within and outside.”