The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State Chapter, on Monday defiled the state government’s directive to return to work, a check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has revealed.
A correspondent of NAN that visited five public schools in Asaba, the state capital on Monday, reports that the schools were not in session.
The teachers had been on strike since March 9. At the Westend Mixed Secondary School, Asaba, many of the students were seen in groups at the entrance of the school because the gate was locked.
A student, Miss Chigozirimi Okafor, told NAN that she was in school because of the government’s directive that public schools should reopen today, Monday.
“I am surprised that our school’s gate is still under lock and key,’’ she said.
Okafor appealed to the state government and the leadership of the state chapter of the NUT to resolve their differences so that public school pupils could resume their studies.
NAN also observed that the situation was the same at Uzoigwe Primary School, Women Affairs Primary School, Government Model Secondary, and Zappa Mixed Secondary School, all in Asaba.
The pupils were seen in groups loitering outside their school gates.
Chigozie Nkwa of Uzoigwe Primary School simply told NAN that “there is no school.”
NAN reports that the state government issued a statement on Sunday that principals, teachers and students should go back to schools on Monday.
The statement added that should the teachers fail to obey the directive, the state government might apply the principle of: “No work, No pay”. The teachers had embarked on a strike on March 9 due to non-payment of salaries since November 2016.
They are also protesting the refusal by the state government to honour teachers transferred from the teaching service to ministries by the state government and the non-payment of pensioners’ benefits, among others.
When NAN visited the secretariat of the NUT, the chairman and the secretary were not available for comments as they were said to be meeting with the stakeholders. Also, several calls made to the cell phone of the state Commissioner of Basic and Secondary Education for comments on the development were not returned as at the time of filing this report.
Similarly, NAN was not able to see the commissioner during a visit to his office for his comments.