By Ozioruva Aliu
PRIMARY school teachers in Edo state Monday defied the state government directive to resume schools today as they stayed away on the directive of state chapter of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT).
A visit to some public primary schools across the state showed that there were no academic activities.
But some staff of the local government education authority and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) were sighted addressing pupils in some schools.
In Ogbe Primary school, the gate of the school was initially shut and some pupils were loitering around the area until men of the Public Works Volunteer (PUWOV) came and forced the gate open to allow pupils into the empty premises. The pupils present about twenty were led to a classroom by an official said to have come from the local government education authority .
At Asoro primary school along Sokponba Road, a PUWOV personnel was standing by the gate while a classroom was opened for pupils with a lady attending to them but she refused to identify herself whether she was a teacher of SUBEB official.
At Emokpae Model Primary School, along Mission Road, only four females suspected to be teachers were sighted at the school while pupils were seen in two classrooms.
One of the teachers, who spoke on condition of anonymity said they obeyed the state government order for the sake of the children.
At Agbado Primary School, along Akpakpava road, there were no pupils but only three staff who said they were not members of NUT but from SUBEB and local government education authority were on ground waiting for any resuming pupils.
Also at Igbesamwan Model Primary School, off Akpakpava road, four suspected staff from SUBEB and local Government education authority who were in the school said they attended to few pupils that were present in the school.
However, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie was sighted at Emokpae Model Primary School as part of monitoring the compliance of teachers to the state government resumption directive.
Ogie, in addressing the teachers, urged them to carry out their duty, adding that it was not a crime for some people to protest but it was also not right for the protesters to deprive others from carrying out their duty.
“I am here to ensure that nobody disturbs you people. Anybody has a right to protest or agitate but you cannot ask others that are ready to work not to work”, he said.
Public primary schools in other parts of the state such as Auchi, Owan East, Ovia South- West, Ovia North-East local government areas complied with the NUT strike directive.
At Azama Primary School, Jattu, the Headmistress was not on duty. Only one teacher was present at 9:49AM when journalists visited the school.
Same scenario played out at Ebienafe Primary School in Auchi where pupils were seen loitering around the school premises.
At Omogba Primary, Uzairue, the pupils were already on their way home at 11:06AM when the Council Chairman Hon Imonofi Inusa visited the school as there were no teachers present to coordinate their affairs.
The Council boss said he was not happy with the development “ I have told the security agencies to go round and check that the schools’ properties are intact and that nobody should tamper with them.
“My message to the teachers is that, by tomorrow if they fail to report to school, we shall know the necessary action to take.”
Speaking with newsmen, the Assistant Secretary General of NUT, Edo State, Moni Mike Modesty Itua described the strike as total across the 18 local government areas.
Moni Mike, who commended teachers for the total compliance, urged them to remain resolute in the fight for freedom until otherwise directed by the union.