Bayelsa schools remain shut as teachers’ strike lingers

Public school teachers in Bayelsa State have continued their ongoing strike and ignored a directive by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) to resume work.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reported that the teachers, rather, chose to obey a counter-directive of the rival Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), not to return to classrooms.

A NAN correspondent, who went round Yenagoa, the state capital, on Tuesday, observed that both  primary and secondary schools within the metropolis did not open for academic activity.

The  schools have remained shut since the new 2016/2017 academic session commenced four weeks ago, following a strike called by NUT, over the non payment of eight months’ salary.

The NUT is insisting that the government should pay at least, two months’ salary before teachers would resume work.

Mr Oyinemi Ebredeni, the chairman of ASUSS, Bayelsa State chapter, had on Monday, called on the secondary school teachers to resume work on Monday, assuring them that the government had pledged to comply with the demand of the teachers.

However, Mr Kalama Toinpre, the state’s  chairman of the NUT,  issued a counter-directive asking all teachers to ignore ASUSS’s call and stay at home until the government practically pays the salary as promised.

Toinpre told a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent on Tuesday that no public school would resume, adding that the ASUSS lacked the powers to “stampede” teachers into resuming for work.

He accused the ASUSS of compromising the struggle after it voluntarily supported the strike which began about five weeks ago.

“We (NUT) also called on teachers not to resume today. So, schools have still not opened. Secondary schools and primary schools did not open today,” Toinpre said.