Teachers in public primary schools in Kaduna State on Monday shunned classrooms following the directives of the Nigeria Union of Teachers that they should embark on an indefinite strike.
The order to embark on strike was to force the el-Rufai’s administration to reverse the sacking of over 20,000 teachers the government claimed had failed its competency test conducted early in June 2017.
The strike earlier scheduled for November 23, 2017, was shelved by the teachers union to allow the government to review the cases of the affected teachers, especially that the union had dragged the state before the Kaduna Division of the National Industrial Court.
The court later ruled in favour of the teachers but the state stuck to its gun, saying the teachers were sacked before the verdict of the court.
The union, backed by the Nigeria Labour Congress, directed its members to embark on an indefinite strike to press home its demands.
But the state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on Sunday, warned of the consequences of joining the strike, threatening that any worker, who stayed off duty, risked dismissal.
El-Rufai, through a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, stated, “There can be no doubt that KDSG will take firm and decisive disciplinary action against personnel who absent themselves from duty, including dismissal from service.”
However, the teachers, unfazed by the threat, stayed off public primary schools on Monday.
Our correspondent, who went round various public primary schools in the state, observed that most of the schools were under lock and key.
It was hard to measure the impact of the strike as schools in the state reopened for the second term on Monday.
Some schools, visited by our correspondent in the state capital, were completely deserted.
For example, the Aliyu Makanma Model Primary School, Barnawa, was shut. No single soul in the expansive premises of the school. Barnawa is in the southern part of the state.
Also, the same scenario was recorded at the LGEA Primary School, Barnawa 1, where our correspondent spotted children of school age playing football.
Pupils at the LEA primary school, along the Balarabe Musa Road, Narayi in the Chikun Local Government Area, were sent back home when they resumed for school in the morning.
As of the time of filing this report, the state Chairman of the NUT, Mr. Audu Amba, could not be reached as calls to his mobile indicated that it was switched off.