The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has warned governments against taking any “hasty” decision to re-open the schools.
It believed that such decision could be counter productive.
The union expressed fears that the pandemic is very much with us and was now spreading in alarming proportion, adding that the lives of teachers and their pupils should be seriously considered before such action is taken.
The Principal Assistant Secretary of the NUT, Niger state wing Labaran Garba expressed the fear over the planned re-opening of the schools in Minna over the weekend after conducting them round the ultra modern and fully equipped state secretariat of the Union.
On its part, he disclosed that the union has in form of advice, submitted a memoranda to the Niger state government on steps to take before the reopening of schools urging the government to apart from critically looking into the submission to organize a “critical stakeholders meeting” to fashion out the best approach that will lead to the reopening of schools.
“We should not rush into opening of schools so as not to draw pupils into the pandemic
“Teachers are more prone to contacting the diseases 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 has contacted the disease it will easily spread” Garba said.
Garba also asked the government to “seriously consider teachers in the sharing of palliatives when the schools reopen”.
On the new secretariat that will soon be commissioned, he disclosed that over N150m has so far been spent on the construction and furnishing of the project that derives its funding from members union dues.
“The project is funded through union due, we did not obtain bank loan from anywhere and we are not owing anybody on this project, there is no government intervention, this is done purely from our own 45% share of members contributions” Garba declared.
The administrative building which has among other things, two board rooms and a conference hall of 1,000 capacity and a multi purpose conference centre, when fully completed, will accommodate all the principal officers of the union and supporting staff.
According to the Principal Assistant Secretary the NUT had before embarking on this project, established a “very standard school”, a Micro finance bank and other projects for the benefit of the Union members.