By Ozioruva Aliu
For the fourth day running, academic activities in Edo State primary schools remained paralysed as a result of the ongoing strike by the state’s chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT).
They continued the strike despite a restraining order granted by the Benin division of the National Industrial Court, NIC last Monday.
However, apparently, to reduce the impact of the strike, the state government has deployed officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, to some of the primary schools to teach pupils who showed up, just as it asked the Public Works Volunteers, PUWOV, to provide security to the SUBEB officials.
At Ugbhioko Primary School, off Ekheuan Road, it was discovered that all the pupils who showed up were distributed into three different classes and a SUBEB official was seen handling pupils in primary five and six classes.
The official who identified himself as Peter
According to him, he was deployed to the primary school “as a matter of necessity because the pupils are willing to learn but the teachers are not available.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), a teacher from the Federal Teachers Service, FTC, was around to teach the pupils. I am not a trained teacher. I am a civil servant with SUBEB”, he disclosed.
One of the pupils, who gave his name as Idemudia John, was seen sleeping on a plank outside the classroom because he was ill but the SUBEB official explained that he had asked all the pupils to get the telephone numbers of their parents written on the notebook so that any of the parents could be contacted in case of any emergency.
At the entrance of the school, it was observed that there was no handwashing facility provided in line with the COVID-19 protocols announced by Governor Godwin Obaseki, who while shifting the resumption of academic activities across the state to February 1 said that all schools must make available handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser when the schools resumed.
An official of PUWOV, who did not disclose his name, said that they (PUWOV) had asked the SUBEB officials to make available water, soap and hand sanitiser.