Academic activities in Edo State primary schools remained paralysed as the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), continued its indefinitely strike.
The industrial action which commenced Monday, February 1 has lasted for four days.
The teachers, in spite of the restraining order granted by the Benin division of the National Industrial Court, NIC, on Monday, disregarded the order as they stayed off their classrooms in continuation of the industrial action.
Edo State government, in response to the strike, deployed officials of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to some of the primary schools to teach the few students who showed up.
The state government also deployed officials of the Public Works Volunteers, PUWOV, to provide basic security to the SUBEB officials.
At Ugbiyioko Primary School, it was observed that all the pupils who showed up were distributed into three different classes.
At the entrance of the school, it was observed that there was no hand washing facility provided in line with the COVID-19 protocols announced by Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Obaseki, while shifting the resumption of academic activities across the state to February 1, had announcing that all schools must make available hand washing facilities and hand sanitiser when the schools resumed.
When one of the SUBEB officials handling pupils in primary five and six classes was questioned, the official, who gave his name as Peter, admitted that he is not trained teacher.
He said 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.
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.
An official of PUWOV, who did not disclosed his name, said that they (PUWOV) had asked the SUBEB officials to make available water, soap and hand sanitiser but such were not provided.
It would be recalled that the Edo NUT embarked on the indefinite strike to demand for the payment of almost two-year salary arrears owed by three local government councils and the outstanding promotions for primary school teachers in the state.