Teachers dare government, vow not to honour resumption date

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As resumption date draws closer form schools across the country, the crisis between primary school teachers and Edo State Government over poor condition of services has taken a new dimension as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo state has rejected the September 2, 2019, resumption date for schools.

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The teachers had last week issued a three-week warning strike notice to the state government, if it failed to meet its demands.

The demands include rejection of competency test for teachers, releasing of the approved N60million termly subvention to schools, payment of EDO BEST stipends of 2018 and 2019 to teachers, recruitment of teaching personnel into public primary and secondary schools in the state.

A statement signed by Moni Mike Itua, assistant general secretary, NUT and made available to newsmen in Benin, the union directed members to disregard the circular letter by SUBEB directing them to resume on September 2, 2019, for the First Term of 2019/2020 academic session, as against the approved September 9, 2019, by the state Ministry of Education.

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Itua urged the board not to constitute itself into a “parallel ministry of education” as well as usurping the functions of the ministry by ordering a different resumption for primary school teachers in the state.

“In continuation of your board’s insensitivity to human dignity and plight of our primary school teachers, the attention of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo State Wing, has been drawn to your circular letter–SUBEB/A/7VOL.IIT/90 of 20th August, 2019, where you directed teachers to resume for the 2019/2020 first term academic session on the 9th of September, 2019 on the other hand, in a twist, you further directed the same teachers to also resume a week earlier than the pupils (that is, on the 2nd of September, 2019) to enable them put all arrangements in place for effective take-off of teaching/learning process.

“Arising from the above directives by your board, the state wing executive council of NUT want to inform you that, public primary school heads and their teachers are not the ones to clean up classrooms or cut grasses in their school compounds, but shall only act as supervisors to the pupils in executing such assignments on their resumption, if your board lacks the capacity to provide or employ cleaners and gardeners in the schools.

“Your board’s unending shenanigans and arm-twisting of our teachers which are now dovetailing into full scale tramping on their rights should stop henceforth.”

While directing school heads and their teachers to disregard the board’s circular letter regarding the September 2, 2019 resumption date, Itua urged them to adhere strictly to the union’s directives.

A circular letter from the Human Resources Department of SUBEB dated August 20, 2019 directed teaching and non-teaching staff in public schools across the 18 Local Government Education Authority to resume school on Monday, 2nd of September, 2019.

The circular was signed by Mrs Ehigiamusor I.Lydia, Director, Human Resources and Management on behalf of the executive chairman of the board, Mrs Joan Oviawe.

The circular letter was copied to all education secretaries and local government education authorities across the 18 local government area.

According to her, “I am directed to humbly refer to the above subject and to inform teachers of Edo State Universal Basic Education Board across the 18 LGEAs that school resumes for the 1st term 2019/2020 academic session on Monday, the 9th of September, 2019. “That the Board wishes to return to the usual practice of teaching/non-teaching staff resuming a week earlier than the pupils.

This practice the board has considered very necessary to enable teachers put all arrangement in place for effective take off of teaching/learning process immediately, upon resumption.

“In the light of the foregoing, teaching and non-teaching staff in our schools across the 18 LGEA are therefore to resume school on Monday, 2nd of September, 2019.”