Endangering the future of Nigerian youths

Date: 17-03-2011 10:26 am (13 years ago) | Author: Aliuniyi lawal
- at 17-03-2011 10:26 AM (13 years ago)

Anywhere President Goodluck Jonathan goes as he embarks on his presidential campaign across the country, he continually tells his audience that Nigerian youths are the future of the country. For this, he says that his government would pay attention to anything that concerns them.

But those in authority in the Federal Capital Territory seem not to agree with the president for they are of the view that enough attention is not being paid to the plight of primary school teachers whose responsibility is to mould the character of the young ones. When the pupils embarked on Christmas and New Year vacation in December last year, it was with great expectation, hoping that soon after the merriment, they would return to their various schools to complete their syllabus, which has been continually put in abeyance due to incessant strikes by their teachers.

It was on record that the teachers were part of their colleagues’ struggle nationwide, to press home for the 27.5 per cent increment as approved by the Nigeria Governors Forum. The strike in the nation’s capital lasted several weeks before those concerned reluctantly agreed to pay, thereby forcing the pupils to stay out of school.

The stay at home order by the Federal Government during the commencement of the voter registration also added to the frustration and plight of both pupils and their parents. Though they kicked against the order, there was nothing they could do since he who pays the piper, calls the tune. However, no sooner than the exercise drew to a close than teachers in the territory announced their intention to embarked on an industrial action.

This time, the teachers’ grouse was the alleged refusal of their employers to pay their monetisation and 40 per cent rent arrears. The strike notice was disclosed in a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting of the executive of the FCT chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers and signed by the union’s Chairman, Comrade Hassan Jibir. The communiqué stated that the union’s decision to embark on the five-day warning strike was after it deliberated on an agreement reached by the FCT Administration with the union on August 27, 2009, over the non-payment of monetisation as well as 40 per cent arrears for 2007, 2008 and eight months in 2009. The teachers further observed that it was only primary school teachers in the FCT that were yet to benefit from the arrears despite having shelved a strike action to press for its implementation. The teachers’ union said it was convinced beyond doubt that primary school teachers in the FCT had no hope of getting the arrears despite the fact that they had exploited all available and congenial avenues within their disposal.

The union warned further that the failure of FCT Universal Basic Education to pay 50 per cent monetisation and 40 per cent arrears within two weeks, starting from January 18 to 29, would lead its members to resume the suspended strike on February 1, 2010. Explaining further on why the strike was imperative, the Head Teacher of Gidan Magoro Local Education Authority Primary School and the FCT National Representative of the NUT, Mr. Shehu Alhasan, said the body decided at its meeting to go on a warning strike because December 31, 2009 was the promised date for the payment of the monetisation allowances. He stated that teachers, especially those at the grassroots and foundation level of education, were not being given sufficient attention and incentives in Nigeria for optimum performance.

While begging the teachers not to embark on the strike, the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Board, Alhaji Musa Yakubu, assured the teachers that N4.2bn has been approved by government in December for the payment of monetisation arrears to them.

Our correspondent gathered that the government approved the payment of the monetisation arrears since December while the Ministry of Finance was said to be putting finishing touches to the process of payment. The UBEC boss said the approved arrangement was such that 50 per cent of monetisation would be borne by the federal government, 30 per cent by the area councils and 20 per cent by the FCTA.

When it was evidently clear that the strike would linger on for long, the FCT Parent-Teacher Association called on the Minister in charge of the FCT, Sen. Bala Muhammed to intervene, saying the strike was affecting the pupils. The Chairman of the association, Musa Talle, who spoke through Mallam Tanko Bello, said the association was worried as the strike was endangering the future of pupils as some of them now engage in street hawking.

He said their members had appealed to the striking teachers through heads of schools and the NUT to call off the strike and enter into dialogue with the FCT Administration but all their pleas fell on deaf ears.

According to him, “While we appreciate the efforts of the minister of the FCT and the enduring spirit of teachers, we will like to call on the minister to use his good offices to expedite action towards meeting the demands of the striking teachers to ensure our children go back to school without further delay.” He said public schools remain the available options through which more than 80 per cent of the poor masses get their children educated, and appealed to the government to urgently intervene as most parents cannot afford to send their children to private schools.

Musa said that if government could, in the interim, attend to at least 80 per cent of the teachers’ demands, they on their part would plead with the striking teachers to exercise patience for the remaining 20 per cent until the passage of the 2011 budget. He declared that if government failed to address the situation, parents and teachers in the territory would have no option than to take to the streets in order to protest over their children’s continued stay at home. The chairman wondered why the striking teachers had not been paid their arrears and allowances after government’s announcement that money had been released for the payment. When the cry of both the teachers and the parents became unbearable, the minister intervened.

He called for the meeting of both sides and at the end of the day, he was able to pacify the teachers that government would look into the grievances with a view to settling them. It was in view of this that the teachers called-off the strike and waited for the government to fulfil its own side of the agreement. But the teachers are still warming up for another strike as their demands are yet to be met. They said there was no sign to show they are ready to address issues raised at their different meetings.

However, the minister said that there was no need for the teachers to express fears. Speaking on behalf of the minister, his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Muhammad Sule, said rather than condemning the minister, he should be commended for intervening in the crisis, adding that the management of the affairs of primary schools is under the purview of the area councils.

According to him, “The management of primary schools is the duty of the area councils and I can tell you that the minister did not even look at it from that angle and this was why he intervened.

“By now, the teachers and the pupils are back in their classes while negotiations are going on. The minister will not rest on his oars until there is peace in the schools and this was why he intervened. He could not have been happy seeing the pupils walking the streets of Abuja when they were supposed to be in their classrooms.” It seems that the teachers want their rewards here on earth and not in heaven as some would have them do.

Posted: at 17-03-2011 10:26 AM (13 years ago) | Gistmaniac
- kaat75 at 17-03-2011 11:53 AM (13 years ago)
this forum don become newspaper ne?
Posted: at 17-03-2011 11:53 AM (13 years ago) | Upcoming
- shaoyang at 17-03-2011 12:55 PM (13 years ago)
Aliuniyi why is is that u never want to learn? STOP posting long story here!
Posted: at 17-03-2011 12:55 PM (13 years ago) | Gistmaniac
- lanudja at 17-03-2011 01:29 PM (13 years ago)
Too long thing... i pass
Posted: at 17-03-2011 01:29 PM (13 years ago) | Hero
- HOPEA23 at 18-03-2011 12:48 AM (13 years ago)
pure lies...i don't trust none of these fake azz politician or whatever they are called..all they know is how to make promises upon promises..that ones they made..they dumped that behide and keeps making more..just to get vote and have their way to earn what they been up to...after that..they turn their backs on us...they are good in sweet talking people..plz...lemme watch and see weting he go do self...same bullshit game.

Posted: at 18-03-2011 12:48 AM (13 years ago) | Addicted Hero
- black_samurai at 18-03-2011 12:55 AM (13 years ago)
I hate it when people complain about a post being 'too long'.
Is it the inability to read for long or the bad memory to remember what was previously read?

Posted: at 18-03-2011 12:55 AM (13 years ago) | Upcoming
- HOPEA23 at 18-03-2011 01:02 AM (13 years ago)
Quote from: black_samurai on 18-03-2011 12:55 AM
I hate it when people complain about a post being 'too long'.
Is it the inability to read for long or the bad memory to remember what was previously read?
actually this shit is too long we not here to read but catch fun...after reading this long thing the fun will be over...

Posted: at 18-03-2011 01:02 AM (13 years ago) | Addicted Hero
- jiflexy at 18-03-2011 07:19 AM (13 years ago)
i finish my cup of coffee b4 i get to the middle,too long ni,nigeria na thomas level,seen is believing,mk we see wetin dem go do
Posted: at 18-03-2011 07:19 AM (13 years ago) | Upcoming


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