From Sola Ojo Kaduna with Agency reports
AS face-off between Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) over the sack of 21,780 primary school teachers lingers, the teachers yesterday shut all the primary schools against the earlier threat by the state government.
The governor had, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, threatened to dismiss teachers absent from their duty posts.
The governor further threatened that the state government had assigned its education administrators to open register in various government owned schools for detection and prosecution of teachers found absent at their place of work.
The bone of contention was whether the state government had the right to conduct competency test for the teachers, in the first place, and whether it was justifiable to sack 90 percent of the teachers, who allegedly failed the test, at a go.
The state Chairman of NUT, Audu Titus Amba, and his counterpart in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ango Adamu, during a press conference, said the state government disrespected the rule of law and acted contrary to the decision of industrial court which had stopped it from going ahead with issuance of sack letters to the affected teachers.
Visits to some primary schools within Kaduna metropolis showed that the directive issued by the leadership of NUT to commence indefinite strike was strictly adhered to as schools were under lock and key in most places.
At about 9:00am, at LEA Primary School in Kawo, Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state, where pupils recently protested the sack of their teachers, the staff were seen in clusters discussing while classrooms were shut.
A female teacher, who did not want her name in prints, said they were only in school waiting to officially receive notice concerning the strike from NUT. “From tomorrow (today) none of us will be in the school premises to teach,” she said.
Also, there was no sign of resumption at Sabon Gari Primary School and Maiduguri Road LEA Primary School situated within the Kaduna metropolis, as the schools remained shut.
At LGEA Primary School Mahuta and Unguwan Boro, only security guards were at the premises while the classrooms were under lock and key.
One of the security guards told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that no teacher had resumed, adding that some of the pupils went home after hanging around with no teacher to attend to them.
At LGEA Primary School Unguwan Mu’azu, some of the teachers were at the school premises, but with no student on sight. One of the teachers who preferred anonymity said they directed the pupils to return home because of the strike, adding that the teachers, for greater part of the day, were hanging around in case there was a new directive from the NUT.