Teachers in the Zaria Education zone of Kaduna State are divided over the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT)’s recent directive to them to proceed on an indefinite strike.
The NUT in the state had directed them go on the strike to press home their demand for the reversal of the sack of 22,000 teachers by the state government.
Investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that some teachers who passed the examination conducted by government reported for duty on Wednesday.
A cross section of teachers told NAN on condition of anonymity in some schools in Zaria and Sabongari Local Government Areas that they were coerced to report for work.
“I am not here because I want to be here. I have reported for work for fear of victimisation. Government directed all those who passed the examination to come to work.
“Actually, I am disturbed by the sack of my colleagues who could not get 75 per cent in the examination conducted by government.
“But remember, examination is not a true test of knowledge; it is a game of luck. One can excellently perform in an examination but may not teach well.
“I am appealing to government to invite the union for another round of negotiation toward making a head way in the lingering problem,” one of them said.
Another teacher said he was only being a loyal citizen by following the instruction given to them by the state government to be in their duty posts.
He said they were directed to write their names on the attendance register.
He, however, sympathised with those who failed the examination and urged them to see what happened as part of their “destiny.”
Other teachers claimed that they were in their places of work to satisfy their urge because staying at home would not give them clear picture of what was going on in schools.
Some others who complied with the NUT directive said that would remain at home until all their demands were met.
When contacted, Usman Rabi’u, NUT Chairman, Sabongari Local Government, said however that the union was not divided on the matter.
According to him, some of the teachers were forced to report at their duty posts and leave.
“I want to assure you that we don’t have a divided house, but we learnt that the Education Secretary had threatened to sack them if they refused to report for work.
“Some just go to their schools to register and got away. That’s all, but we are appealing to our teachers not to panic. We are doing everything possible to protect their interest,” he assured.
Rabi’u commended teachers in the area for complying with the strike order and urged them not to waiver “until justice is done.”
He urged the state government to meet the demands of the union so as not to prolong the strike.
NAN reports that members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) were cited in schools monitoring the situation.
The state government had issued a circular, threatening to sack any teacher who did not report to his/her duty post. (NAN)