There is a forthcoming crisis in the education sector of Edo State, as teachers of primary and secondary schools, under the umbrella of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, have served a 21-day ultimatum on the government to meet all their demands, or they embark on indefinite strike.
The ultimatum dashes the hope of students who are currently on vacation, as they may not resume classes with their counterparts in private schools, should the teachers make good their threat to go on indefinite strike.
The Union, in a nine-point communique signed by Messers Pius Okhueleigbe and Moni Mike Modesty- Itua, State Chairman and Acting Secretary respectively, said the ultimatum follows the expiration of a 45-day grace period it allowed the State government to engage it in mutual resolution of the challenges enumerated in a communique they issued at their executive meeting held last July, 2018.
The communique was issued at the end of the SWEC-in-session of the Union’s State Executive Council meeting held last Thursday in Benin-City, and it takes effect from Friday, August 17, 2018.
They said the ultimatum to embark on indefinite strike action to press home their demands arises from the failure of the the government to positively resolve all issues in contention with the Union.
Amongst the teachers’ demands are the financial implementation of the 2013 to 2015 primary school teachers promotions as approved by the State government, with the arrears of last January to July inclusive, as well as teachers who were deliberately omitted or denied the promotions by SUBEB.
They also want the immediate implementation of the approved N25,000 minimum wage to all primary school teachers with all the arrears, which they said was approved by the state government for all workers in the state in May 2016, and the immediate provision of subvention funds to both primary and secondary schools across the state.
The teachers further alleged that they have been using their meagre salaries to provide instructional materials like chalk, markers, diaries, registers and others for teaching and learning in schools since 2012.
While decrying the lack of personnel in the public schools, they urged the government to commence the process of recruiting about 9,000 and 3,000 new staff to fill the vacant positions in both primary and secondary schools, respectively, before the commencement of the next academic session slated for September. They also want the government to meet all the demands in this month’s payroll.
“At the end of the meeting, SWEC agreed that the Union has unimaginably cooperated with the State government in all positive fronts with a view to moving the education sector to the desired Eldorado, but the government has refused to act in utmost good faith in reciprocating the good gestures of teachers in the state.
“That Edo State Public Primary and Secondary School heads and their teachers are tired of using their meagre salaries to provide instructional materials such chalk, markers, diaries, registers and many others for teaching and learning in schools, due to the failure of government to provide subventions to schools since the years 2012 and the recent near zero supply of such items to schools.
“Therefore, government must in the next twenty-one days, put up a very concrete and result-oriented policy/plan to commence the release of subventions to all public primary and secondary schools in the state,” the communique said.
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