Some primary school teachers in Bwari Area Council of the FCT have expressed concerns over the effect of incessant strikes on pupils in public schools in the six area councils of the territory.
The teachers, who spoke in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bwari, Abuja, said that though, they were hopeful that the action would yield positive results, it might affect pupils negatively.
NAN reports that teachers in public primary schools of the six area councils under the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), again shut down the schools on Wednesday, over unpaid arrears of promotion benefits and others.
Mr Mcjones Ayock, a teacher at the LEA Normadic primary school in Bwari, regretted that the pupils were already affected by the impact of COVID-19 in recent times and would again be slowed down with the strike.
“Since the resumption of schools after the outbreak of COVID-19, the educational system generally has been unstable. Our school, for instance has had to rush the syllabus to meet up with the proposed calendar.
“Now, having the children in and out of the school due to the strike by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the FCT, will really have a big blow on the children because they will be left behind.
“I remember Sen. Philip Aduda and the FCT Minister had to come into the matter the last time; we went on strike and promised to resolve it but to no avail.
“We all need help. Please, let them consider us this time around,” he appealed.
Another teacher, Mrs Tina Edward, said that though the monies owed were worth fighting for because of the economic challenges in the country, also agreed that the strike would slow the pupils down.
Edward said: “Some of our children are in this category of children we are talking about and while those in private schools would be long ahead, these ones would have to wait until the strike is over.
“The thing is, we also have children at the secondary level and they need money. We all need this money to sort out various challenges at home. We have appealed and are still appealing to them to pay us. We have suffered enough.”
NAN recalls that primary school teachers in FCT called off a one week strike in December at the end of an emergency meeting of the State Wing Executive Council (SWEC).
The teachers said the six area councils chairmen were yet to implement any of their demands in spite of various ultimatums issued to them to settle the outstanding entitlements of the teachers.
NAN gathered that the demands include non-implementation of teachers’ promotion arrears from 2014 to 2018, non-implementation of 2020 and 2021 annual increments, and upgrading of qualified teachers.
They also want the implementation of 24 months Federal Government approved minimum wage arrears.
When NAN visited some of the public primary schools within Bwari, some of the security guards confirmed that no activity took place at the schools since morning, while some of the school gates were seen locked.