The Nigeria Union of Teachers has directed its members not to resume on September 22, 2014 as directed by the Federal Government, until hand gloves, sanitisers, infrared thermometers, running water and soap have been provided in schools.
The NUT said that in states where the necessary Ebola training and sensitisation had not been done and the gadgets not provided, teachers would continue to remain at home until their state governments respond or the union directed them otherwise.
The union’s president, Michael Olukoya, who said this at a news briefing shortly after holding a meeting with the National Executive Council of the NUT, on Tuesday in Abuja, however, noted that teachers would resume classes only in states where they had been trained to handle Ebola outbreaks in obedience to the Federal Government directive.
He said the union took the decision to protect its members.
He said it was better to delay the resumption of schools till October 13, 2014, when the scourge would have been over than to rush and open the schools only to be faced with EVD attacks.
He accused unnamed “powerful private school proprietors and proprietresses” of instigating government officials to insist on opening the schools on September 22.
Olukoya said, “Where the government insists on September 22 date in spite of our wise counsel, the union will rather direct teachers to resume schools whenever they are sufficiently trained and their schools have been provided with the necessary preventive and protective gadgets.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the teachers have this day resolved to resume classes in obedience to the Federal Government directive in states where teachers have been trained to handle any outbreak, and all the preventive gadgets such as hand gloves, sanitisers, infrared thermometers, running water and soaps have been provided as directed by the Federal Government; (but) in states where the training has not been done and the necessary gadgets not provided, teachers shall continue to remain at home until their state governments respond positively or the union directs them to the contrary.”
The NUT President stated that the 2014 World Teachers’ Day scheduled for October 5 would not hold, saying that teachers should rather be allowed to use the day to organise all necessary sensitisationprogrammes to get themselves ready for school resumption.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to the NUT to shelve its plan to embark on strike in protest against government’s directive that schools should resume on September 22.
He made the appeal shortly after the National Executive Council of the union rose from a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Jonathan told State House correspondents that instead of going on strike, the NUT should commend the Federal Government for its efforts at checking the spread of the disease.
“I will plead with NUT and other unions that this does not require industrial action. They should commend government,” he said.