We are fully prepared for resumption of academic activities ― NUT, NAPPS

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) have indicated their full readiness to go back to their duty posts as the primary and secondary school students nationwide will resume for the 2019/2020 academic session today(Monday).

NUT is the umbrella body for teachers in public primary and secondary schools nationwide while NAPPS consists of owners of private schools at the same level.

The National Secretary-General of NUT, Dr Mike Ene, and the National President of NAPPS, Dr Bolajoko Sally, gave the indications, on Sunday, in a separate exclusive phone conversation with our correspondent.

According to them, all their respective members are fully prepared to welcome the students back to schools after a six-week holiday.

They said most teachers have used the holiday to acquire new knowledge and skills and therefore are fully prepared to deliver better service as they resume at their various duty posts.

The NUT secretary-general, however, expressed worry that even though NUT members are prepared, most state governments seem not to prepared for real academic activities to start immediately.

Explaining this, he said, “most times when we resume from holidays that take many weeks, we get to schools and find out that the registers are not there, the chalks are not there, textbooks are not there and the lesson notes and all that, are not also there. I meant the teaching materials that we make us take off our work immediately we resume will not just available.

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“You will see those handling education at these levels behaving as if the sector is not important. They behave as if they don’t know that teachers who are on break will one day resume and should, therefore, have prepared ahead for their returning.

“You will find out that ordinary basic instructional materials and textbooks are not just there. It is after the resumption and maybe from the third week or more that they will begin to look for a way to provide the needed items. And because of that some parents also will keep their children away from schools for the first week as their belief is that academic activities will only start at best the second week.”

While noting that the leadership of NUT moved round some states during the holiday to see their levels of preparedness for resumption and the education as a whole, he said only a few of them including Kaduna that could be said to have committed to the course of provision of quality education that accommodating nomadic and children with special needs.

He, however, urged various levels of government to ensure they make necessary working tools available in their schools as the students get back in schools.

On availability of subject curriculum, including that of History, which is just being reintroduced as a compulsory subject for junior students, both Ene and Sally said the curriculum is available and likewise competent teachers to deliver them.

But then, NUT’s Ene pointed out, public schools need more teachers for many subjects, especially sciences.

“Government should try and recruit more teachers who are professionals and know the nitty-gritty of teaching. They should not employ quacks so that the curriculum will achieve their purposes,” Ene stressed.

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