CDWR SUPPORTS THE STRIKING ABUJA PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND URGES NLC AND PARENTS TO SUPPORT THEIR DEMANDS
WE CALL ON NUT TO MOBILISE MEMBERS TO FIGHT FOR ADEQUATE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
The Campaign for Workers and Democratic Rights (CDWR), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter, welcomes the decision of primary school teachers of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in FCT-Abuja to go on strike over their unpaid promotion arrears. The strike was first embarked on by both primary and secondary school teachers, with a five-day warning strike in November 2021.
Unfortunately, the last strike, which was meant to force the Area Council chairmen to pay the outstanding entitlements of the teachers, was later called off by the State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) of NUT following a limited concession which largely affected only secondary school teachers without any concrete commitment to the primary school teachers.
This was why the primary school teachers refused to resume work along with their secondary school counterparts immediately after the end of the warning strike. They however suspended the strike in December 2021 following an agreement with the areas councils. It is therefore, the failure of the Council Chairmen across the FCT to fulfil the initial commitment made with the primary school teachers that informs the ongoing strike of primary school teachers across the FCT.
This is the height of insensitivity and irresponsibility by the Area councils and the FCT Ministry. CDWR condemns this and calls on the teachers, who are protesting the non-implementation of promotion arrears from 2014 to 2018 and its 2020 and 2021 annual increments as well as the refusal to upgrade qualified teachers, to step up the struggle to get their deserved entitlements. This should include congresses across the NUT in the area councils and schools, leaflets and press statements to make sure students and parents are carried along in the struggle and protests to put pressure on the FCTA.
The fact is that the authorities of the area councils and the FCT ministry are not taking the demands of the striking teachers seriously because their top functionaries do not have children in the public primary schools. We believe there’s no better time to press home these demands radically than this moment when the FCTA elections are coming up and some of these irresponsible political representatives will be seeking reelection.
We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress and pro-masses organisations as well as associations of parents to actively support the struggle and demands of the striking teachers and prevail on the Area Council chairmen and the Minister of FCT to immediately meet their legitimate demands. This support is also important so that the children of working class people and the poor who are the majority in public primary schools are not denied access to education.
We also call on the NUT and NLC to fight for, in addition to the demand on the welfare of public school teachers, both at primary and secondary schools, adequate funding and democratic management of schools including the provision of necessary facilities. This is in order to guarantee decent working conditions and the provision of quality public education. This is the only way to ensure quality education is not priced out of the reach of children from the working class and poor background.
Coordinator, CDWR FCT Abuja
E-mail: [email protected]