A report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) indicates that public primary and secondary schools in Bayelsa state are yet to resume for the 2016/2017 session due to the state government’s refusal to pay teachers salaries for seven months.
Teachers in the state embarked on a strike at the end of the 2015/2016 long vacation which ended in the first week of September leaving children at home since then. In a statement distributed to journalists today, October 3, the Bayelsa chapter of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in advised teachers to stay at home till their demands were met. The union said the industrial action became inevitable after the expiration of its 21-day ultimatum to the government on Monday, September 19.
The state Chairman of NUT, Mr Kalaama Toinpre, and Secretary, Mr Johnson Hector, who both signed the letter, condemned alleged efforts to factionalise the union. According to the duo, the NUT remain the legally recognized body charged with the responsibility of agitating for the welfare of primary and secondary school teachers. They expressed regret that the government did not to stick to the agreement to pay half salaries to teachers pending improvements in the finances of the state.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa state commissioner for education, Mr Markson Fefegha, said the government had been meeting with the teachers to resolve the issues. His words: “We have been meeting with the executive of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, I have been explaining to them our efforts so far in meeting our salary obligations.”
The Bayelsa state government has struggled to live up to its expectations since Nigeria started experiencing financial difficulties.
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