As the ongoing strike by the teachers in over half of the unity schools across the country enters its sixth week, parents have condemned what they termed the Federal Government’s lacklustre attitude towards resolving the crisis.
Speaking on behalf of the parents, chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Sagamu, Mr. Gbenga Oyesola, said that the continuous closure of the schools was to the detriment of the students who have lost a substantial part of the academic calendar.
Oyesola said, “Could there be any meaningful transformation programme, structural adjustment programme and many point agenda in the absence of education, which is imperative to the development of a country?”
The PTA chairman noted that education, which involved the all-round development of cognitive, psychomotor and affective ability of individuals, in order to promote the advancement of the individuals, society and the world at large, should not be relegated to the background in any manner.
He said, “The disharmony between the Federal Government and the staff unions of Federal Unity Colleges should not be extended to the point of jeopardising the success of our education system, which will in turn have undesirable effects on the academic achievement of the students. Bearing in mind, no nation can develop beyond the capacity of her citizens.
“It is very disheartening to note that students of about 12 Unity colleges in the country, including FGGC, Sagamu, are at home while their contemporaries in private and other government secondary schools have been undergoing intense learning and other school activities for close to a month.”
Oyesola lamented that the students, who have gone home or been kept in school in spite of the strike, have been rendered redundant without any academic exercise.
He recalled that the endemic strikes that have almost paralysed academic activities was as a result of irregularities in salaries and other allowances of the teachers in unity schools.
He averred that teachers were not given their dues and respect in Nigeria, adding that, if government truly wants a world-class education system, it should empower teachers rather than undermine them: “Aside from the bad reputation the strikes conferred on the education system, delay and extension of duration of students in school and unjust compression of the syllabus and academic calendar will deprive students of adequate academic preparation and eventually have undesirable effects on the students achievement of educational objectives as laid down in the prescribed curriculum.
“In view of this, PTA has met with different stakeholders in education in a bid to provide solution to the present problem.
“We urge the federal government to quickly respond to the teachers’ demands and in, the same vein want the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria to consider the plight of the students in order to reach a compromise with the government. This is an appeal.”