By Uche Bibilari
A cross section of parents in Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT has decried the incessant strikes in public schools, saying it is depriving their children the right to education.
The parents in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, described the industrial actions as unfortunate and shameful for the sector.
NAN reports that the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) FCT Chapter, had on Monday directed its members across the six area councils to embark on an indefinite industrial action.
The union gave the directive in a communiqué issued at the end of its emergency State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) meeting held in Gwagwalada.
The communiqué jointly signed by the NUT State chairman, Mr Stephen Knabayi and Secretary, Mrs Margaret Jethro, said that the strike began on Sept. 11.
They alleged that the council chairmen had failed to meet their demands which included non-implementation of promotion arrears, non-upgrading of concerned teachers, non-implementation of annual increments, among others.
Mr Christopher Onah, an artisan and a father of three said it is heart breaking seeing his children stay at home while others are busy studying.
Onah said his income has made it impossible for him to take his children to a private school where they could get quality education.
“I feel very sad and unhappy seeing my children at home while their mates are in school, this can make them indulge in anti-social behaviors because they are not occupied meaningfully.
“I am pleading with the government to look into the plights of these children so that our children can also go to school, since this is the only option I have.
“I am not financially fit to take them to a private school,” Onah said.
Also, Mrs Aishat Sule, a petty trader and mother of five said she was excited knowing that the holiday was over, only for her hope to be dashed after hearing that LEA primary schools teachers are on strike.
Sule said the issue of strike in the country had become so rampant that the government appears not ready to listen to the complaints of these teachers.
“This strikes have become everyday thing, by the time they resume now they will want to rush these children and at the end of the day, they might end up not covering what they are supposed to cover for the session.
“These children are still going to write the same common entrance examination with their counterparts in the private schools, how do they want them to perform when they are always on strike.
“Government schools are supposed to be the best schools because this will discourage people from going to private schools, but with all these strikes, it is not so.
“Government should please help the poor masses and give our children quality education,” she said.
However, Mrs Blessing Haruna, a teacher said that the strike became imperative as they could no longer work under harsh economy without pay.
“This thing has lingered for too long. I think is time we fought it and get it right, we keep working without pay. I really feel for these innocent children and their parents.
“The government should look into the education sector and address its challenges because no country can grow its economy without education especially basic education,” Haruna said.
Mr Mohammed Yakubu, another teacher described the attitude of government towards basic education teachers in FCT is unfair.
Yakubu said all concerned parties should proffer lasting solutions to the issue of incessant strikes by granting the request of teachers for the children to go back to class. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Julius Toba-Jegede