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NECO suspends SSSC exams as strike paralyses school activities

Posted by By IME OLA, Lagos, SEYE OJO, Ibadan, BOLU-OLU ESHO, Ado-Ekiti, GODDY OSUJI, Abakaliki, MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta and ATTAHIRU AHMED, on 2008/06/11 | Views: 1893 |

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NECO suspends SSSC exams as strike paralyses school activities


The on-going Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) was on Wednesday suspended indefinitely following the three-day warning strike by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).

The on-going Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) was on Wednesday suspended indefinitely following the three-day warning strike by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).

The Executive Secretary of the examination body, Promise Okpala, said, in Abuja, that the examinations, which started with practical subjects on June 9, had been postponed indefinitely.

Public school teachers nationwide made good their threat to stay away from work on Wednesday to protest the non-implementation of the teachersí salary scale (TSS).

In obedience to the strike, all public primary and secondary schools across the nation were shut, while the teachers stayed at home.
In Lagos, there was total compliance, as all the schools visited by Daily Sun remained under lock and key.

In an interview with Daily Sun, the state Secretary, Comrade Jamiu Idris, said: "We went round and it was total compliance. Teachers and students kept off the schools. No examinations took place. After the warning strike, the main strike will take place at a latter date."
In Ogun State, our correspondent reported that the strike totally paralysed academic activities in public schools in Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Ilaro and Otta, where a few teachers, who reported for work, were chased out by officials of the union in the state, who went to picket the schools.

The chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers in the state, who led the picketing team, told journalists that the police arrested no fewer than 30 of them. He further stated that the police were instigated to make the arrest and that the union had secured the services of a lawyer to secure their bail.
Most of the schools visited included Methodist School, Adatan, Holy Prophet Primary School, Ilugun-Adedotun and NUD Primary School, Ikija.

Our correspondent in Ado-Ekiti reported that many students were seen playing football in open streets, in their school uniforms, as some of them refused to return home when they discovered that their teachers had truly embarked on the warning strike.
The state chairman of the union, Comrade Yemi Omoyemi, commended the teachers for complying with the directive, noting that if the Federal Government did not yield to their demands, they would embark on an indefinite strike nationwide.

He warned that teachers, who flouted the directive, would be severely dealt with, adding that a 30-man monitoring committee has been set up to monitor and ensure strict compliance.
Also in Ebonyi State, children, turned back from school, were seen roaming the streets while others helped their parents with their businesses.
In Ibadan, Oyo State, a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nureni Olawore, on Tuesday evening, directed all public schools to commence a three-day mid-term break from Wednesday.

When Daily Sun visited Ojoo High School, Alaka, Ibadan, the entrance gate of the school was under-lock and key. The situation was the same at Monatan High School, where no teacher or student was sighted.
At Immanuel High School, U.I, however, a few students were seen in front of the school gate.
Anglican Commercial Grammar School, Oritamefa and Ebenezer Primary School, Salvation Army road, equally had their gates locked.
Daily Sun gathered that junior secondary school students in the state, who were said to have begun their examinations last Monday, had their papers postponed till next Monday by the state government.
Addressing newsmen at the headquarters of the state council of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yon Wednesday, the chairman of the NUT, Oyo State branch, Mr. Elijah Dada, in company of Mr. Olu Abiala, the secretary, stated that the directive from the state government contributed to the success of the warning strike.

He said that he did not see the directive as a deliberate plot to frustrate the strike.
According to him, "Oyo State government, in sympathy with our action, decided to support us by declaring the three-day mid-term break and we really appreciate this gesture. The strike turned out to be a huge success because our members in the technical colleges and school of health technology, who were not covered by the mid-term holiday, also observed the industrial action."
The chairman further said that if by next Monday, the Federal Government failed to listen and grant the demands of the teachers, the action will assume a total scale.
However, reports reaching Daily Sun from Zamfara State said the government has threatened to sack any teacher who joined the action in the state.

The state Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Sanda Danjari Kotorkoshi on Wednesday said, "government wishes to state categorically that any teacher that attempts to stay home during the three day warning strike action would face the wrath of the law."
He added that a team of inspectors from the state ministry of education would be sent to various primary and post primary schools across the state in order to ascertain the names of the absconding teachers during the period of the strike.

The commissioner, who accused the Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state of sabotage, disclosed that "the Union (NUT) had neither sent any letter to the State Ministry of Education nor to the office of the Executive Governor on any issue that led the union to support the national strike on Teachers Salary Scale (TSS) since the inception of this administration."
However, in a quick reaction, the state chapter of the NUT, in a statement by chairman and secretary, Comrade Jamilu Aliyu and Saddiq Abdullahi Gobir, respectively, appealed to teachers in the state to join the strike and ignore the commissionerís threats.
"We are calling the entire teachers of Zamfara State to join their counterpart and ignore the commissionerís warning."

Daily Sun gathered that the Presidency felt uncomfortable with the strike and has directed that the policy of no work no pay be applied to teachers who joined in the strike.
But the NUT Secretary General, Ikpe Obong said the union would continue with the strike.
His words: "This is just a warning strike to send out our message to the government on our demand. We are ready for them, let them bring out a circular on the no work n o pay. Nigerian teachers have suffered enough pains, they have endured for so long."


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