Thursday, September 11, 2014

Teachers Embark on Strike over New Schools’ Resumption Date


The Nigerian Union of Teachers has threatened to go on strike if the Federal Government fails to put in place measures to protect its members and pupils from contracting the deadly Ebola Virus Disease before the resumption of schools all over the country.

The NUT National President, Michael Alogba, in a telephone interview with Punch on Wednesday, stated that the union would not allow any of its members to teach until it was scientifically and medically proven that the country was out of the Ebola scourge.
He said: “Though I don’t want to preempt the outcome of the meeting but as teachers who have families and who should protect our future, I mean our students, we will shun the classes; we will call for strike. 
“What kind of government is this, don’t they know that children can never be as hygienic as adults? Don’t they know that the immunity level of children is not as high as that of adults?"

The Federal Government initially fixed October 13 as schools’ resumption date but it later announced the new date, saying that the country was almost Ebola-free.

But the new date drew criticism from doctors, activists and groups who alleged that the government was in a way stampeded into announcing it by some powerful school proprietors.

NUT Chairman, Alogba, said the teachers had already written the Federal Government about its position on the September 22 date.

He warned that if the new date was not extended by Monday, the NUT national executive council would meet on Tuesday in Abuja to take a drastic action.

The NUT chairman said, “In any sane society, decision such as this will not be taken until the government and all stakeholders have met and discussed the issue at stake and are sure that the nation is scientifically and medical free from the scourge.

“But this is not the case in our country. When they arrived at the early October 13 date, they wrote us and we agreed with their argument but when this new date was given, they did not because of the influence of some powerful school owners who put pressure on them (Federal Government) to announce the September 22 date.

“Anyway, we have written to tell them that if the Federal Government does not shift the date and provide all necessary safety measures in schools before Monday next week, all NUT leaders will meet in Abuja by 9am on Tuesday to decide our fate by ourselves."

But the Federal Government says there is no going back on the new date. Clash imminent!

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