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HomeAbuja NewsHow Insecurity Fueled Teachers’ Strike In FCT

How Insecurity Fueled Teachers’ Strike In FCT

·        Teachers expected back in classrooms, Monday

·        FCTA to prioritize teachers’ allowances over others

·        Schools to get perimeter fencing

By Sarah NEGEDU

Teachers in the nation’s capital are demanding an immediate resolution of security challenges across schools in the FCT, with a threat to embark on a full scale industrial strike if the administration reneges on the promise to secure schools.

Although there have not been reports of large scale abductions in schools in the FCT as recorded in some parts of the country, the teachers’ demand may not be unconnected to the recent attack at the Government Secondary school, Yebu, in Kwali area council.

The Abuja Inquirer had exclusively reported the abduction of the Vice Principal, Academic, of the junior section of the school, Malam Nuhu Mohammed, on October 26, when heavily armed gunmen stormed the school premises.

The 52-year old school head was abducted alongside an 18-year old son of another staff of the school, Master Clement Paul Egbeji.

The NUT had at a meeting with officials of the FCTA led by the FCT minister, Muhammad Bello, expressed concern on the security situation and the need for more concerted attention to the safety of personnel in the teaching profession.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the meeting, NUT chairman, Comrade Stephen Knabayi, said the union were briefed by security commanders in FCT on the various strategies they are deploying to strengthen security, particularly in the schools in the vulnerable areas.

Knabayi, however, added that specific directives were given to expedite action on the provision of perimeter fencing.

He also expressed the appreciation of the union to the minister for the pronouncement on the payment of promotion arrears of 2017 and 2018 before the end of the year.

According to him, “The meeting was a good one as it is a quick response to the letter sent to the FCT minister particularly on the issue of insecurity as it affects the teachers in the FCT, and using the opportunity to address some issue that has to do with the welfare of teachers.

“We appreciate the effort of the government, because we were able to hear directly from security chiefs on their effort, and we also used the opportunity to give them some of the inputs where we believe that they can do better than what it is to reduce the menace that we have at hand. So it is a good one.

“Assurances from the minister that all we said were taken for better security measures to be put in place to protect the lives and property of the schools and teachers in particular.”

On when the teachers are expected to return back to classes, the chairman said, “We are going back to the house, we will meet and we assure that with all the resolutions, we will go back to the classrooms without wasting time.

“But I won’t assure you (when the strike would be called off) because we need to consult, dialogue with each other, but I assure you that with discussion and commitment of the minister towards the issues of teachers as discussed today, it will not take long time. After all, it’s a warning strike.”

The NUT had, last Thursday, embarked on a 5-day warning strike to press home demands for enhanced security in schools and payment of arrears of promotion benefits for teachers.

The action came about following the resolution reached at the end of an emergency State Wing Executive Council, SWEC, meeting of the FCT NUT, with the union issuing ultimatum to the six area council chairmen to settle outstanding entitlements of Local Education Authority, LEA, teachers in the FCT.

The NUT also issued ultimatum to the management of the FCT Administration to pay 2016, 2017, 2018 promotion arrears to secondary school teachers in FCT.

Speaking on the meeting, the permanent secretary, FCT, Mr Olusade Adesola said, “it was agreed that for us in the FCT, the allowances of our teachers will be paid for 2017, since 2016 had already been paid and that consideration should also be given to prioritizing payment for those in the teaching profession of 2018 before the end of the year.”

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