By Ijendu Iheaka
Aba – Teachers in public primary schools in Abia on Monday defied the order by the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), suspending the three-month old statewide strike.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the teachers embarked on strike in May to press home their demand for the payment of 10 months salary arrears and implementation of their Teachers Salary Scale (TSS).
Other demands included the payment of the outstanding promotion and leave allowances by the state government.
A NAN correspondent, who visited some of the schools in Aba metropolis, reports that some pupils reported to school in line with the NUT announcement in some sections of the local media.
Teachers were however no where to be seen in all the schools visited.
A teacher told NAN on the condition of anonymity that “teachers cannot return to classes unless their demands were met.”
She said that the state government entered into an agreement with the teachers about two years ago but reneged on its promise.
At Umuode Community Primary school in Osisioma Local Government Area, few pupils were seen playing in the compound but the school’s staff rooms were under lock and key.
Also at the Okigwe Road Primary Schools I and II in Aba South Local Government Area, some pupils were also seen but teachers were visibly absent.
NAN also reports that both the teachers and pupils of Cameroon Barracks Primary School were absent.
Although some teachers were seen at the Tenant Road Primary School, the pupils were conspicuously absent.
The Head Mistress of the School, Mrs Onyekachi Uka, told NAN that she just returned from the NUT meeting held at the Constitution Crescent Primary School, Aba to discuss the way forward.
She said that the teachers had agreed to return to classes on Tuesday, June 18, because the state government promised to meet NUT leaders to discuss how their arrears would be paid.