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Bayelsa teachers lament non-resumption of schools

By News Express on 06/10/2016

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Teachers in Bayelsa State on Wednesday decried continued closure of public schools due to eight months salary backlog owed teachers in the state.

It will be recalled that due to ongoing strike by teachers, pupils and students have remained at home several weeks after the beginning of the new academic year, which commenced in September.

The teachers, who made their position known during the World Teachers Day celebration in Yenagoa, also lamented marginalisation of the educational sector in the state.

The teachers commemorated the day at the auditorium of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital.

Mr. Kalama John-Tonpre, State Chairman, NUT said Bayelsa was faced with crises in the education sector.

John-Tonpre highlighted the problems confronting teachers in the state to include non-payment of salaries for about eight months; non-implementation of teachers promotion over the years and non-payment of annual increments.

Other problems, according to the state chairman, are shifting of the responsibility of managing primary schools and funding of teachers’ salaries to local councils alone and dismissal of teachers employed in 2008 and 2009.

He also complained of shortage of teachers without recruitment in the school system and non-provision of instructional materials, among others.

“Some protracted but unattended issues in the sector are over populated classrooms, poor standard of education resulting from poor funding, inconsistency and non-implementation of education policies.

“Also, there is frequent disruption of the school system, moral decadence among the youth and eventually the underdevelopment of the state,” John-Tonpre said.

He posited that the problems inherent in the nation were direct consequences of many years of marginalisation of Nigerian teachers.

He said the current problems of the society, disease, poverty, unemployment, kidnapping, militancy, injustice, lawlessness, greed for political powers and lack of conscience for humanity were all traceable to the agonies of teachers.

John-Tonpre, therefore, urged the State Government to urgently address the genuine demands of the teachers to enable them to perform their task of advancing education for the benefit of the underprivileged in the state.

“Currently, so many teachers have retired and about a good number of teachers were dismissed from the school system with no recruitment of new ones to replace them.

“Consequently, some primary schools in Bayelsa have no single teachers to teach the children.

“The issue deserves urgent attention as it portends danger at the foundation level of the education system,” he said.

He called on the state government to urgently reinstate the dismissed teachers and recruit more teachers to fill the vacancies created.

John-Tonpre further called on Governor Seriake Dickson to sustain the role of augmenting the funding of primary school teachers’ salaries, saying the councils alone could not carry such responsibility.

 

Source News Express

Posted 05/10/2016 11:44:07 PM

 

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