By Ijendu Iheaka
Teachers in public primary schools in Abia are expected to resume work today (June 18) after they suspended their three-month old statewide strike.
This followed agreement reached on Monday by the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), suspending the three-month old statewide strike.
The Head Mistress of Tenant Road Primary School, Mrs Onyekachi Uka, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the teachers agreed to return to classes in a meeting of NUT held at the Constitution Crescent Primary School, Aba.
“The teachers have agreed to return to classes on Tuesday, June 18, because the state government promised to meet NUT leaders to discuss how their arrears will be paid,” she said.
NAN reports that the teachers embarked on strike in April 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.
Before Monday’s meeting, the teachers had defied an earlier order by the NUT for them to resume work.
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.