From CHARLES ADEGBITE, Ado-Ekiti
Teachers in Ekiti State yesterday celebrated the 2012 World Teachers Day in Ado-Ekiti, contrary to the state government’s directive that the annual celebration should be cancelled. The teachers, under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), gathered at their state secretariat, where they raised series of sarcastic songs to deride the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration, who they perceived as anti-teachers.
Their anger against the government began to manifest on Thursday, when the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Mrs. Eniola Ajayi, held a stakeholders meeting with some selected teachers at Olaoluwa Muslim Grammar School, Ado Ekiti, who were called to ruminate on woeful performances of students in internal and external examinations in recent times.
The Ministry of Education later announced on state radio and television that the event had been cancelled. This announcement irked the entire teachers populace and forced them to start getting set for war. While addressing journalists on this development, the NUT Chairman in the state, Com Kayode Akosile, described the government’s directive as embarrassing, shocking and a declaration of war on Ekiti teachers. He said Ekiti teachers had been having a robust relationship with the government until they refused to write the test prescribed by the state government tagged Teachers Development Needs Assessment (TDNA), meant to examine the competency of his members.
He said the teachers met the first unexpected shocker of their lives under Fayemi government, when it cancelled 27 percent peculiar allowance to teachers on the premise that it was about to implement relativity allowance and minimum wage to Ekiti workers. The NUT chairman said that government’s step could only be counter-productive rather than producing the needed remedial step to wipe out decadence in the educational sector.
He said no efforts will be spared to ensure that no teacher is sanctioned for not appearing at his duty post yesterday, insisting: “October 5 had been adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to be Teachers Day. So, I don’t think it should be taken to be an offence if our people decided to hold the celebration.”