May Day: Yobe Celebrates Low Key While Amosun Promises Transparency

May dayThe May Day celebration in Yobe State, north-east Nigeria was low-key as it was marked by press briefing instead of the usual ceremony by Labour and Trade Unions in the state.

To commemorate the day, the unions converged on the office of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) along Gashua Road in Damaturu the state capital, to address members on some of its activities over the years.

Briefing the media to mark the day, the State Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Lawan Ibrahim, said that the occasion has been low-key for the past four years in the state because of the prevailing cases of insurgency bedeviling the north east zone of the country where the state is located.

He, however, called on the union members to partner with the NLC to fight for members’ entitlements such as leave grant, annual increment, and promotion of staff among others.

Mr Ibrahim decried the falling standard of the State Civil Service examinations and called for waiver of the exercise, saying it has not served the desired objective.

He also requested for the full implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage, payment of the outstanding gratuity by 33% as approved by the federal government in August 2010 among others.

The union leader also called for the upward review of 22% for the media and cultural workers as well as meeting the lingering demand of the judiciary staff union of Nigeria.
Purposeful Leadership Hinged On Transparency

In Ogun State, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has assured residents and people of the state of purposeful leadership hinged on transparency, accountability and probity in his mission to rebuild the socioeconomic development of the state in his second term in office.

He  made the pledge in Abeokuta, the state capital while joining the state workforce in celebrating May Day at the Moshood Abiola stadium.

While assuring the workforce of better days ahead, the Governor challenged that all hands must be on deck, saying that workers must redouble their effort to ensure prompt service delivery.

Workers from the 20 Local Government Areas of the state, trade unions and labour congresses  participated in the celebration.

Ebola: Public Schools Resume In Osun State

EbolaPublic Schools across Osun State finally resumed on Monday after the long break due to the Ebola Virus Disease scare.

The holiday was also extended based on the directive of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Headquarters to ensure that all necessary protective equipment are supplied to the school.

Channels Television correspondent reports that while only few schools were seen using the infrared thermometer to check the status of the pupils, others did not have the thermometer as students were seen going in freely without any check.

Although no wash-hand basin was sighted in any of the schools visited, the principal of one of the secondary schools, who spoke to us off camera, confirmed that the State Government had provided the required protective materials but they would be brought out for appropriate use.

In the meantime, efforts to reach the State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Saka Adesiyan, was not fruitful as he was said to be out of town.

The students have, however, settled down for serious work in most of the schools ‎to make up for lost weeks.

Ebola Virus: Ogun Govt, NUT Differ Over Schools’ Resumption Date

resumption dateThe Ogun State Government, the Nigerian Union of Teachers and other stakeholders have differed over the October 8 resumption date for public and private primary and secondary schools across the state as announced by the State Government.

At a press briefing held in Abeokuta, the state capital, the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, had announced that all schools should resume for the new academic session on October 8.

The State Government said that the decision was arrived at with other players in the education sector of the state economy.

However, in another development, the Nigerian Union of Teachers sharply disagreed with the State Government.

The NUT, after its State Executive Council meeting held in Abeokuta, the state capital, maintained that the resumption date announced might not be feasible.

The Ogun State Chairman of NUT, Dare Ilekoya, asked that all preventive measures be put in place to ensure the health and safety of pupils and their teachers against the dreaded Ebola virus disease.

He noted that unless adequate measures are in place in all schools to safeguard the lives and health of pupils and their teachers, the resumption date would not work.

The State Government has said that it was raising a team to ensure that the demands by the teachers are met.

Abuja Schools Resume, Screen Pupils for Symptoms of Ebola Virus

Abuja schoolsThere was screening of pupils for symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease in the nations capital as schools resumed on Monday for a new session after the long vacation.

Resumption had been delayed after the importation of the disease into the country by a Liberian-American, Mr Patrick Sawyer, who died of the disease in Lagos.

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) had insisted that schools remained closed for fear that necessary safety measures have not been put in place by authorities to protect school children from the disease.

When Channels Television visited some Abuja schools, buckets, hand washing bowls and screening of pupils for high temperature were seen.

While some administrators decided to conduct these tests at the gates, others did so at the assembly ground.

Nigeria currently has no single case of Ebola, but both the government and health experts have continued to encourage citizens to keep proper hygiene.

Now that school children are resuming in some parts of the country, school administrators are expected to keep the needed vigilance for fear of another outbreak.

Ebola: Osun Govt Moves Schools Resumption To October 6

Schools resumptionThe Osun State Government has directed all public and and private Schools in the State to reopen for the year 2014/2015 academic activities on Monday, October 6, 2014.

The announcement comes as the Federal Government and the Nigeria Union Of Teachers (NUT) continue talks on whether or not to resume on September 22, the schools resumption date set by the Federal Ministry of Education.

A statement signed by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, who doubles as the Commissioner for Education, said that this would enable both principals and teachers to receive adequate training and put in place all necessary measures to prevent the Ebola epidemic in schools and in the state in general.

She assured the people of the State that Osun is Ebola free. She called on school managers to ensure daily practical demonstration of hand washing by the pupils and students, including teachers.

She emphasized the need to maintain the culture of hygiene.

Ebola: Jonathan Appeals To Teachers’ Union To Allow School Resumption

AdekunlePresident Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers and other labour unions in the country not stop the resumption of schools on September 22 as the Federal Government has been able to put a check on the Ebola Virus Disease.

President Jonathan, who was speaking to State House correspondents on Tuesday, said that the closure of public institutions in Nigeria would not speak well of the image of the country.

He insisted that there was nothing to fear as his government has won the war against the dreaded Ebola.

The President commended Nigerians for supporting medical personnel and health workers to fight the disease.

He pleaded that no citizen of the country should be stigmatised anywhere in the world as there were no new cases of Ebola in the country.

He also emphasized that more than ever before, Nigerian borders were more secured to forestall the entry of any carrier of the Ebola Virus Disease from neighbouring countries.

President Jonathan commended the state governors, especially those of Lagos and Rivers states, for their proactive efforts in the fight against the disease.

He assured Nigerians that his administration would not rest on its oars to prevent any other outbreak of the disease.

The Federal Government had shifted ground on the resumption of schools for September 22 after initially moving the resumption to October 13 to curtail the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease.

Lagos Govt. Promises Better Welfare For Teachers

Lagos Comm Olayinka OladunjoyeLagos State Government, mindful of the pivotal role of Education and the critical role of teachers in the development and economic growth of any nation, says it would continue to be responsive to their welfare and that of other members of its workforce.

The State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, said this while briefing newsmen at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, on Thursday.

She disclosed that this conviction of Government has been the driving force behind its huge investment in Education as well as training and welfare of teachers in its quest to become a model of excellence in Education in the African Continent.

She said that in order to provide qualitative education to the citizenry as well as overcome some of the challenges facing the Education sector; the State Government recently employed no fewer than 1,775 new teachers into the system as secondary school teachers.

She reiterated that Government has been doing this in the face of the limited resources available to it against the background of the competing demands for the resources, adding that Lagos remains perhaps the only state that has consistently and doggedly paid its workforce including teachers up to date and when due.

The Commissioner debunked the insinuations in some quarters to the effect that Lagos State teachers were not happy with the Government, restating that one of the hallmarks of the present administration has been its responsiveness and priority attention to the welfare of its workforce.

The Commissioner said teachers in the state are happy “because before now they did not have the kind of empowerment that they have been provided with” adding that with the EKO Education Project, teachers in the State have been empowered and given some level of accountability which is unprecedented in the nation’s Education history.

Assuring of the State Government’s willingness to complete payment of the 27.5 percent Special Teacher’s Allowance, Mrs. Oladunjoye said that Government was working assiduously with a view to paying the balance of the Special Allowance to the teachers.

“Government therefore craves the understanding of its teachers on this, bearing in mind that government will not hesitate to pay the balance of the allowance as soon as possible. Suffice it to say that the State Government is also determined to make the teaching environment and learning process very conducive to enhance efficiency and effectiveness”, the Commissioner said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, who was also at the briefing, said that the State Government enjoys a robust relationship with the teachers, adding that the Government could not afford to toy with the welfare of such an important player in its Education sector.

The Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, who was also at the briefing, said that while the State Government was not joining issues with any publication, with the advent of new theories in political circles and the possibilities of bandwagon effect, there was a need to put issues in proper perspective.

Later in an interview after the briefing, the State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Mr. Segun Raheem, said that the NUT was not just a labour union but also a professional group which knows how to go about its agitations, stressing that such agitations does not always lead to anger.

He added that from the way the discussion was going along with the Government, there was hope that the State Government would pay the balance of the allowance.

He said that there have been commitments from the State Government on the allowance which has seen the payment of an initial 9.2percent and later another 9 percent with the remaining 11.5 percent being expected.

Raheem said that two months ago, the NUT wrote to the State Government on the balance and that the matter was presented before the Joint Negotiation Council and a pay policy committee was set up with the teachers also invited to present their case, which it did and a subcommittee was set up to look into the financial implication.

The briefing was also attended by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Sade Jaji.

Nigerian Teachers Strike Over Kidnapped Girls, Killings Of Colleagues

NUT logoNigerian teachers have gone on strike and staged rallies nationwide on Thursday in protest against the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by the Boko Haram sect and the killing of nearly as many teachers during its insurgency.

The President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Micheal Olukoya, said that the sect had killed 173 teachers over five years.

In Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, where the insurgency has been most intense, around 40 teachers marched down a street to the office of Governor Kashim Shettima, chanting “bring back our girls” and holding placards saying “vulnerable schools should be fenced”.

Governor Shettima came to the gates of the compound to meet the teachers, who were clothed in black union vests over their long, flowing traditional robes and were escorted by the military.

In Lagos State, around 350 teachers gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park.

Public schools in the nation’s capital city, Abuja, however, remained opened in defiance of the directive by the Nigeria Union of Teachers.

Some teachers who spoke to Channels Television said that they were not issued with letters directing the closure of schools.

This follows two days of bloody attacks in the country, in which nearly 150 people have been killed.


Chibok Girls: Imo NUT Storm Owerri Streets In Protest

Chibok-girls-#BringBackOurGirlsOver 500 members of the Imo State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers have taken to the streets of Owerri the Imo State capital, protesting the abduction of the Chibok girls by the Boko Haram sect.

This is sequel to the nationwide directive of the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers to close all primary and secondary schools in the country in protest of the abduction of over 200 girls from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State and the killing of over 170 teachers by the Boko Haram sect during different attacks.

Leading the protesters to the Government House in Owerri the Imo State capital, the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Imo State chapter, Dr Cletus Okeke, described the actions of the Boko Haram sect as abominable and a curse to humanity.

He urged the Federal Government to do everything possible to bring back the girls alive and also immortalise or compensate families of teachers who have lost their lives to the evil actions of the Boko Haram terrorists.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, while addressing the protesters, said that Government at all levels would not relent until the girls were returned to their parents.

He urged all Nigerians to unite irrespective of differences and support the Federal Government in the quest to search for the girls.

Ekiti Governor Approves Payment Of 27.5% Teacher’s Allowance

Gov Kayode FayemiThe Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has approved the payment of 27.5% teachers’ pecuniary allowance as well as local and overseas trainings for the teachers in the state.

Speaking at the sensitization programme of the State Education Programme Investment Project at the Olukayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, Governor Fayemi said that the approval of the 27.5% pecuniary allowance was to further improve the living standards of the teachers.

The Governor stressed that the payment of 27.5% pecuniary allowance, as well as the local and overseas trainings was not a favour but the right of the teachers, as the Government was determined to do anything possible to improve the lives of teachers in the state.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Ekiti State, Kayode Akosile, who spoke on behalf of the teachers said that the Governor had done very well for the teachers in the state.

He then appealed with the Governor to also look into the issue of promotions and other areas that would further improve the lives of teachers in the state.

Some of the teachers, whose joy became uncontrollable after Governor Fayemi’s announcement, spoke with Channels Television and thanked the Governor for approving the payment of the teachers’ 27.5% pecuniary allowance.

The Governor was accompanied by his deputy, Professor Modupe Adelabu, and other top government officials as well as leaders of the party and their supporters.

Edo Govt To Go Ahead With Teachers Assessment

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole

The Edo State Government has resolved to go ahead with the teachers’ assessment following a town hall meeting held to discuss the controversy surrounding the idea.

Among issues for determination were those of teachers who are unable to read, those who have exceeded the required number of years of service and are fraudulently keeping themselves there and those who are past the age of retirement.

Governor Oshiomhole, said that he was changing the exercise from competency test to assessment test, as this would enable them determine those who need training, and the type they would require; those that are qualified and those that cannot be remedied.

While they accept the option of training and retraining of teachers as a possible remedy, the Governor noted that it would be fool hardy to train unqualified teachers, knowing that they do not possess the capacity to receive and reproduce the knowledge.

Participants at the town hall meeting, in their response, threw their weight behind the assessment test, and the Governor right there appointed a former Vice Chancellor of Ambrose Alli University, Professor Dennis Agbonlahor, to chair the exercise, which he said would be conducted by non-state officials.

The teachers unions however boycotted the town hall meeting.

Teachers Strike Over Pay, Pensions In England

Teachers in England have joined their Nigerian counterparts in embarking on a strike over pay, pensions and jobs thereby closing a plethora of schools across the country.

Teachers in London, Cumbria, the South East, North East and South West are taking part in the one-day strike. The action is part of a continuing campaign of regional strikes involving members of the NUT and NASUWT unions.

The government said the strike would “disrupt parents’ lives” and “hold back children’s education”. Large rallies have been planned for Bristol, London and Durham.

Teachers have objected to proposals by Education Secretary, Michael Gove to bring in performance-related pay, increase their workloads and make changes to their pensions.

‘No other choice’

A similar walkout by teachers took place in the east of England, the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber region on 1 October.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said the union regretted the disruption caused to pupils and parents but teachers felt they had “no other choice”.

She said: “Mr Gove has done nothing to address the crisis of low morale in the teaching profession which threatens the continued provision of high quality education.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said the “overwhelming majority of teachers” would be on strike.

She said: “Teachers are committed and dedicated public service workers. They do not take strike action lightly.

“No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils’ education, but this action is not the failure, or due to the unreasonableness, of teachers.”

Plans for a national one-day walkout before Christmas have also been announced by the two unions.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said it was “disappointing” the NUT and NASUWT were taking industrial action.

The spokeswoman said: “All strikes will do is disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession