Academic activities at both public primary and secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been paralysed as pupils and students were turned back home by the striking teachers who are protesting the non-payment of their promotion arrears.
Daily Trust had reported that the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) had at the end of its emergency meeting on Wednesday, threatened to embark on a five-day warning strike over the non-payment of their members’ promotion arrears by the six area councils’ chairmen and the FCT administration.
Our reporter, who went around somewhere schools in Abaji, Kwali, Gwagwalada and Kuje area councils, observed that both primary school pupils and secondary school students were turned back at the school gate by teachers.
A visit to LEA Primary School Naharati and GSS in Abaji, Kwali and Gwagwalada, as well as Kuje, students and pupils, were seen returning home while classrooms have remained under lock key.
A parent, Mrs Gladys Ayuba, who came to drop her two children at LEA Kayarda Primary School in Kuje, was asked by a teacher to take her children back home.
Ayuba, while speaking with our reporter, said the strike action embarked on by the teachers would affect the learning of the children, saying there was the need for the government to enter into dialogue with the teachers.
“I don’t think the strike action is the best way, even though I still blame the government for not paying their entitlements instead of allowing them to embark on strike which is quite embarrassing,” she said.
Also, pupils of LEA Primary School, Old Kutunku in Gwagwalada were turned back while some were seen standing in front of the school gate, while classrooms were under lock and key.
However, some teachers who spoke with our reporter, said they were forced to send the pupils back home.
A teacher, Simon Markus, said teachers decided to comply with the directive of the NUT because of the nonpayment of their backlog of arrears.
Meanwhile, a mob attacked security guards at the gate of the Government Junior Secondary School (GJSS) with stones and sticks as students were being asked to go back home by teachers.
Daily Trust correspondent, who narrowly escaped, was seen observing the situation as some aggrieved youths, who were in school uniform, were throwing stones and sticks at the security guard.
The vice-principal of the school, whose name could not be ascertained, rushed out alongside some vigilante members to chase the mob away.
He was heard saying some of the attackers are students of the school.
The chairman of the Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Adamu Mustapha, who is als the ALGON chairman in FCT, while reacting to the strike action, expressed displeasure with the union.
He said the six area council’s chairmen had met with the union on different occasions to find a way to pay some entitlements of the teachers.