CHINEDU WOSU YENAGOA
Striking public primary School teachers in Bayelsa State have remained adamant over their indefinite action which they started on Monday September 11 when schools resumed for the new school year.
It was gathered on Tuesday that primary schools across the state’s eight local government areas have remained shut in compliance with the directive of the local chapter executives of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
The teachers are protesting what they described as prolonged neglect by the Bayelsa State government under Governor Seriake Dickson.
Teachers in the state have engaged in intermittent strikes since 2013 over issues of non-payment of salaries and under-funding of primary education, among other issues.
The NUT chapter executives in the LGAs decided on the indefinite stay-at-home action at separate meetings in conjunction with other non-academic labour unions in the schools.
They complained that primary school teachers had been unfairly treated since 2013.
Chairman of the NUT in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Koin Dinepre said the teachers would stay at home until their plight was addressed.
According to him, the payment of only one month salary out of 10 months arrears owed the teachers, would not compel them to call off the strike.
The Commissioner for Education, Markson Fefegha, and his counterpart in Local Government Administration, Agatha Goma, have continued to insist that local government councils, and not the state government, have the responsibility to cater for primary school teachers and primary education.
But there are concerns that the N50billion the state government claims to have invested in the education sector might not achieve the desired objectives if primary education, which is the foundation of education, remains dysfunctional in the state.