Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



  • Others Appeal to Government for Employment
  • The struggle embarked upon by teachers that participated in the Universal Basic Education (UBEC) initiated scheme in Lagos between October 2006 and October 2008 yielded partial victory as the Lagos State government employed 510 (46%) of the total 1,100 teachers on March 18, 2009.

    Before this partial victory the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) had led teachers in 3 mass protests. The teachers first embarked on a protest on January 30, 2009 and went on another mass protest to the Lagos government house at Alausa on February 2, 2009. When the Lagos State government failed to respond, the teachers protested to LTV complex on February 10, 2009 the venue of the 3rd annual remembrance of Beko Ramesome Kuti in order to draw the attention of activists and members of the Lagos State government present to their plight.

    The scheme was initiated by UBEC and supported by all the state governments. It is designed to recruit qualified teachers into public schools across the federation as a response to the acute shortage of teachers. After the scheme the participants are entitled to be employed into their respective state service. At the expiration of the first batch in October 2008 most state governments employed all participants in their respective states but Lagos refused. Some of the states have even started the second batch of the scheme.

    The scheme teachers earned a paltry sum of N13,000 monthly while the scheme lasted but persevered because they were promised jobs at the end of the program. These teachers were committed to their assignments despite the fact that the scheme violates Section 7(1) of Labour Act, which makes it illegal to employ worker(s) for more than 3 months without regularizing and formalizing their appointment.

    While the ERC welcomes absorption of 510 out of 1100 by the Lagos State government, we call on the government to employ the remaining 590 teachers. Besides the fact that these teachers are entitled to employment in line with the mandate of the scheme, Lagos state needs at least 4,000 additional teachers in public primary schools in addition to basic functional facilities in public schools.

    The 590 yet-to-be absorbed teachers have continued to mount pressure on the Lagos state government. The teachers have written appeal letters to relevant top officials of the Lagos State government including the governor and UBEC top authorities for them to be employed.