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|Unity Schools Teachers’ Strike Throws Pupils In Limbo by Judolisco(m): 9:38am On May 30, 2017|
Barely one month after resumption into the 107 unity schools across the country, pupils in 18 of the schools have been left in limbo because of the strike embarked upon by their teachers over issues related to unpaid salaries and other allowances. In this report, Raheem Akingbolu, Funmi Ogundare, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo, analyse the cause of the strike and call on Federal Ministry of Education to quickly intervene
These are not the best of times for students of Unity Colleges in the country. While their contemporaries in private and other government secondary schools have been undergoing intense learning and other school activities for close to a month, pupils from 18 federal government colleges are in limbo either in their schools or at home with their parents.
From the Federal Government College, Ilorin, to the Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu, down to FGGC, Omuaran and FGC, Ikirun, all in the North-central and the South-west, the situation is the same; nonexistence of academic and extra curriculum activities.
According to reports from our correspondents in Ilorin and Osogbo, the innocent pupils, who rushed to their various schools in Omu Aran, Ikirun and Ilorin few weeks ago are currently passing through hell. Ikirun’s case is a bit different from others as the teachers, though come to school on daily basis, choose to adopt what they call ‘sit down look’.
At Omu Aran, one Mr. Aliyu, a parent, who said he had to leave his Lokoja base to take his daughter home, pending the time the strike would be called off, expressed his regrets over the way the children were left uncared for.
“As people who own the future of our dear nation, I almost shed tears when I saw the bushy and unkempt environment our children have been living for weeks. Aside the fact that they are not being taught or receiving lectures, they are also being fed poorly, a situation which has compelled me to come down to pick my daughter. I appeal to government to look into the case of discriminatory salary payments in the schools, which the teachers are complaining about.”
How it all started
The endemic strike actions that have almost paralysed the federal institutions of higher learning appeared to have begun to deal with what remains of the nation’s unity schools. Like the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), an umbrella body of teachers in unity schools has in the last one year been complaining about irregularities in salaries and other allowances due for teachers in unity schools.
As a result of government nonchalant attitude to their demands and complaints, the leadership of the association decided to mobilise its members to embark on strike. To this end, the association, in April this year, sent letters, intimating the principals of Federal Government Girls College, Omu Aran, Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu, Federal Government College, Ilorin and Federal Government College, Ikirun, on the plan to embark on strike.
In the letter titled; ‘Notice of Industrial Action’, signed by the Secretary of the Kwara State chapter of the ASCSN, Comrade Tunde Joseph, to the principal of FGGC, Omu Aran, the association drew the attention of the principal to a letter dated March 13, 2017, where ASCSN informed the principal of the precarious situations in which members are subjected to at the unity school, due to nonpayment of September, 2016 salary, backlogs of first 28 days and promotion arrears which the government had released but was diverted by the management of Federal Ministry of Education.
|Re: Unity Schools Teachers’ Strike Throws Pupils In Limbo by Judolisco(m): 9:51am On May 30, 2017|
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