COVID-19: NUT cautions against hasty reopening of schools

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Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the umbrella body that champions the cause and welfare of teachers in Niger state, has disagreed on principle plans by the state government to reopen schools in the wake of Corona Virus pandemic.

The NUT had argued that, “Hasty” reopening of schools would not only endanger the lives of teachers but also the pupils and other stakeholders hence should be seriously considered to avoid unpredictable consequences.

Speaking shortly after conducting journalists round the union’s ultra modern state secretariat in Minna, the NUT Principal Assistant Secretary, Comrade Labaran Garba, said it would be in the best interest of all if government considers the security of pupils and teachers before taking steps to re-open schools.

“There is no need rushing to reopen schools. Though the academic calendar has been altered by Corona Virus pandemic, I believe whatever time lost can still be remedied but first let us not endanger human lives to the pandemic because we are eager to resume schools”.

Garba however said, “Teachers are more prone to contacting Corona Virus because they are closer to the pupils, they are the first that will meet the pupils in the event of either a pupil or teacher coming in contacted with the disease and it will easily spread”.

He further pointed out that, a memoranda has been submitted to the state government on steps to take before schools can be reopened to avoid endangering the lives of pupils, teachers and even their family members coming in contact with them.

Garba, therefore, advised that the government, to critically look into the submission to urgently organize a, “critical stakeholders’ meeting” to fashion out the best approach that would lead to safe reopening of schools.

Garba, who told journalists that it cost the NUT whooping N150 million to complete and furnish the state secretariat, also called on the state government to consider teachers as part of critical stakeholders that deserved benefiting from palliatives when schools reopen”.

“The new ultra modern NUT secretariat is purely funded by teachers themselves through check-off dues. “This is purely from check off union dues. We are not indebted to any person or borrowing from any Bank but purely efforts by teachers in Niger state”.

“We did not collect any Bank loan, there is no government intervention of any kind but this edifice was done purely from our own 45% share of members contributions”, Comrade Labaran Garba further pointed out,” he said.

Duaglobalnews reports that the new secretariat contain amongst others; administrative building to accommodate all principal officers and their supporting staff.

The other features are; multi-purpose conference hall of about 1,000 capacity and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre which is in near completion stage he said,

Garba, who said the NUT in the state also had administrative building that would soon be inaugurated further, explained that the union could boast of a, standard school, a Micro Finance Bank and other projects for the benefits of members.

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