From Okwe Obi, Abuja

The Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) has raised concern over the industrial action by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) wing.

AYGF Executive Director, Dr Arome Salifu, in a statement, yesterday, to mark the 2024 International Day of Education, warned that strike would worsen the illiteracy level in some parts of the country.

Salifu also argued that this was not the best of times for the education sector to be toiled with given the backwardness of Nigeria in global ranking.

To this end, he encouraged the FCTA administration and the Union to dialogue in order to suspend the rift for the sake of the pupils.

“The AYGF, a non-governmental organization dedicated to advancing quality education, expresses profound concern regarding the recent decision of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), FCTA wing, to initiate an indefinite strike, which commenced on January 15, 2024.

“Today marks the International Day of Education, established by UNESCO to emphasise the crucial role education and teachers play in the goal of poverty eradication.

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“Poverty is closely tied to illiteracy in many third-world nations. Educators are instrumental in building and empowering young people, not only for the country but also beyond, through knowledge acquisition. In commemoration of this day, we aim to bring awareness to the current issue at hand, which lacks national coverage.

“Recognising the pivotal role educators play in shaping the future, AYGF acknowledges the significance of just compensation for their unwavering dedication.

“We understand the demand for a 40% allowance and the resolution of 25 months’ minimum wage arrears, emphasising the urgent need for financial acknowledgment during these challenging times.

“Emphasising that quality education is a collective responsibility, AYGF calls upon all stakeholders, including government authorities and the NUT, to engage in constructive dialogue aimed at achieving a swift and equitable resolution to the ongoing issues.

“Given the potential impact of disruptions in the learning environment on students, AYGF stresses the importance of prioritising their well-being and the continuity of their education.

“We appeal for collaborative efforts to promptly address the concerns of the teachers, ensuring a conducive learning environment for the benefit of the students.

“AYGF remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting initiatives that foster quality education and hopes for a resolution that safeguards the interests of both teachers and students,” he said.