Bayelsa public schools resume Monday

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Government owned primary and secondary schools in Bayelsa will resume the 2016/2017 academic session on Monday.

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The resumption followed a directive from the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) to striking members.

Public schools in the state have yet to resume for the new session due to the failure of the state government to settle eight months salary backlog of teachers.

The union resorted to strike as the state government had reneged on an earlier agreement reached in May to pay half salaries to its workers pending improvements in the finances of the state.

Mr Kalaama Toinpre, Chairman of Bayelsa chapter of the NUT, disclosed on Sunday that the teachers suspended the strike at the weekend.

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The union leader said that the decision has been communicated to members who were directed to resume work immediately.

“The state working committee of the NUT at the weekend resolved that we should suspend the ongoing strike and return to the classroom following series of negotiations with the state government.

“We have secured some agreements from the state government in writing that at the end of this month, October, two months half salary of the outstanding be cleared in addition to the two months half salary already paid.

“Having secured the commitment of the state government to commence clearing the backlog, we shifted grounds and decided to suspend the strike and return to work.

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“We at the state executive of the union are grateful for the solidarity of teachers who resisted ploys to sabotage the struggle for the welfare of teachers and to factionalise teachers in Bayelsa. We shall remain united,” Toinpre said.

Mr Markson Fefegha, the State Commissioner for Education, had in a statement said that the government would from Tuesday (Oct. 18) commence monitoring of the compliance by teaching and non-teaching staff at public schools.

According to Fefegha, a team of inspectors from the Ministry of Education would be sent to monitor the resumption of schools across the state.

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He said that the NUT directive makes it mandatory for all teaching and non-teaching staff to resume work from Monday (Oct. 17).

He warned that all staff who wilfully absent themselves from duty would be declared as “ghost workers’’ and replaced immediately.

The commissioner asked all Headmasters and Principals to ensure strict compliance and cooperate with the inspectors.

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