Friday, January 29, 2021 9:37 pm
The Edo state government and public primary school teachers are heading for a showdown, following the insistence of the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), to go ahead with its sit-at-home order to teachers, and government’s decision to activate its No work, No pay policy.
Recall that NUT had on Wednesday directed all public school teachers and school heads to shun government’s directive to resume academic activities on Monday, February 1, and continue its indefinite strike.
The union in a statement by Pius Okhueleigbe and Moni Mike Modesty Itua, state Chairman and Assistant Secretary-General respectively, said the decision to continue with the strike was because the union was convinced that it had earlier allowed the state government eight weeks to have its demands resolved before the commencement of the strike.
It also rejected government’s appeal made through the State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa, that NUT should suspend the strike and give considerable time to create opportunity for government to dialogue with it with a view to resolving the issues.
But, the state government in a statement on Friday by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, noted that parents are expected to make their children and wards ready for resumption on the scheduled date.
Ogie reemphasized that all public-school teachers and head teachers were required to be present in their various schools, as failure to resume work on the said date would be considered forfeiture of salary, adding that the “government has activated the No work, no pay policy.”
The statement reads: “This is to inform all parents, teachers and the general public that all public primary schools in Edo State shall resume full activities on Monday 1st February 2021.
“Parents are expected to make their children and wards ready for resumption on this date. The Edo State Government wishes to reemphasize that all public-school teachers and head teachers are required to be present in their various schools.
“Failure to resume work would be considered forfeiture of salary as government has activated the No Work, No Pay policy.
“Head Teachers and Teachers who are desirous of staying away from work in support of the sponsored strike action by certain elements of the Edo State Branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, are required to hand over all school property in their custody to their respective Education Secretaries.
“The Edo State Government through the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is collaborating with the relevant security agencies to ensure the protection of all public schools and any willful destruction of government property will be met with criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”
Parents and the affected students however hope that government and the teachers’ union will shift grounds and reach a compromise, as any industrial disharmony will further do harm to the academic calendar of the state.