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Academic activities suffer as teachers boycott classrooms in Edo

Academic activities suffer as teachers boycott classrooms in Edo

Public primary school teachers in Edo State on Monday defied the state government’s directive to reopen schools across the state owing to the strike embarked on by the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).

The Edo State wing of the NUT commenced an indefinite strike a fortnight ago following the state government’s inability to meet their demands.

Ever since, the union and the state government have been embroiled in dispute while the former took a firm stand to go ahead with the strike as negotiations between both parties continue.

The government threatened to invoke the ‘no work no pay rule’ if the teachers continue with the indefinite strike action meant to cripple resumption of second term academic activities slated for February 1 (today).

When our reporter monitored the level of compliance in some of the primary schools in Benin metropolis, it was observed that the teachers failed to appear for resumption – apparently in support of the strike.

A visit to Asoro primary school, Uwa primary school, Igbesamwan primary school, Agbado primary school and Emokpae model primary school in Edo South senatorial district showed that some persons purportedly deployed from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) were at school to monitor resumption.

At Agbado, Emokpae and Igbesamwan, few students were seen seated in classrooms waiting for their teachers while others loitered around the school premises.

But in Asoro and Uwa primary schools, the gates were locked and no pupil was seen within the vicinity.

The situation was also identical at Azama primary school and Omogba primary school in Edo North central senatorial district where students strolled around hoping lecturers would resume.

An official of SUBEB who didn’t want his name on print said NUT mandated the students to stay at home because of pending issues between the union and the government.

Addressing journalists in Benin City, Moni Mike, the Edo State assistant secretary general of NUT, commended teachers for complying with the stay at home order.

He noted that the strike spans across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGA).

Meanwhile, the National Industrial Court, Benin judicial division has restrained the primary school teachers from embarking on any strike action pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

The presiding judge, Justice A. A. Adewemimo gave the order on Monday consequent upon submissions by the Edo State Solicitor-General, Oluwole Iyamu.

The  suit with reference number NICN/BEN/04/2021 was filed by Edo State government and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) against the NUT state chairman, Pius Okhuleliegbe and the assistant secretary general of the union, Moni Mike.

Justice Adewemimo fixed Tuesday, February 9 2021 for hearing on the suit.