Teachers in public secondary and primary schools in Kaduna State yesterday began an indefinite strike, protesting job security and welfare. The strike was called by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
The government, on Sunday, threatened to sack any teacher that joined the strike. In some schools in Kaduna, only security guards were however present.
At the LGEA Primary School in Mahuta and Unguwan Boro, security guards were on the premises; the classrooms were locked.
A security guard said no teacher had resumed and pupils returned home after hanging about with no teacher to attend to them.
At LGEA Primary School, Unguwan Mu’azu, some teachers were about but no pupil was sighted.
A teacher, who begged for anonymity, said pupils were told to return home, adding that the teachers were hanging about should there be a directive from NUT.
At Rimi College in Unguwan Rimi, management workers were at their duty posts.
However, at Government Girls Secondary School, Unguwan Mu’azu and Government Girls Secondary School, Independence Way, teachers and management workers, who resumed, said they did not see the NUT circular on the strike.
Reports from Zaria, Sabongari, Makarfi, Soba, Giwa and Ikara local government areas, showed compliance with the strike as teachers and pupils remained at home.
The NUT Chairman in Zaria council, Yahaya Abbas, said the strike was inevitable as the government ignored efforts to meet their demands.
He contended that the sack of about 22,000 teachers, a reason for the strike, was done in disregard to civil service rules and regulations.
El-Rufai: your strike can’t save sacked teachers
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has told the union that its strike can’t return the 21,780 sacked teachers to work.
A statement by his media aide, Samuel Aruwan, stressed that the government will not allow the “selfishness” of a tiny minority ruin the future of two million children.
The statement reads: “The Kaduna State government hails the teachers who reported dutifully to their posts. Though NUT officials tried to unlawfully prevent teachers from working, many defied this intimidation.
“The government is collating reports from its Education Administrators and all teachers who absented themselves from work will face the severest penalties applicable in the public service rules.
“Across the state, the illegality of the NUT’s strike action is being compounded by physical attempts to frustrate those teachers who wish to work. No law permits any worker to tamper with another’s right to work.
“The government is resolute in its determination to protect the future of the children of the poor. Ordinary citizens are entitled to expect public primary schools to deliver a decent standard of education. At least, two million pupils are enrolled in public primary schools and their interests come first.
“The government is delighted to inform the public that marking of scripts of the 43,000 applicants for teaching positions is now concluded. The recruitment process to inject 25,000 qualified teachers into our public schools will now move to the next phase.
“The Kaduna State government will not allow the selfishness of a tiny minority ruin the future of two million children.”