The Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Ogun State Chapter, has declared that it would not comply with the Federal Government schools resumption date of September 22 until adequate preventive measures are put in place to forestall the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola Virus Diseases in public schools in the state.
The teachers’ declaration came Friday just as the Ogun State Government announced the postponement of schools resumption date till October 8 as it was not interested in gambling with the future and health of the pupils.
The teachers position was contained in a statement at the end of their meeting held in Abeokuta.
They noted that the state government has failed to put in place the necessary facilities and equipment to prevent the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, before the pupils resume for the 2014/2015 academic session.
The union’s state chairman, Dare Ilekoya, added that the step was to protect the teachers and the pupils from contacting the dreaded disease.
“In the meeting held today (Friday), we have resolved that all teachers in both primary and secondary schools in Ogun State should stay at home indefinitely until the state government provides all gadgets specified by the Federal Government to curtail the spread of Ebola,” he stated.
“NUT as a good partner with the state government humbly suggests that resumption date should be shifted forward to enable government provide the requirements.
“We did not want to take chances, because there is no cure for Ebola yet. We have resolved that until necessary gadgets such as infrared thermometers, potable water, sanitisers, protective gloves are provided in schools, we will not resume.”
Mr. Ilekoya, while appreciating the state government efforts of training teachers on how to handle the outbreak of the EVD, said teachers should wait for further directives on this matter.
However, few hours after the teachers position, the state government at a press conference announced a two week extension for the resumption,contrary to Federal government resumption date directive of September 22.
The Secretary to State Government, Adeoluwa Taiwo, while addressing journalists, explained that the extension became necessary in view of the fact that it was yet to meet up with the provision of the medical gadgets against the virus. He also pointed out that many private school owners were also yet to meet up.
Accompanied by the Education Commissioner, Segun Odubela, and Information Commissioner, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the government scribe said, having met with other education stakeholders it was agreed by both parties to postpone the resumption date.
‘We will not gamble with future and health of our pupils. After meeting with all education stakeholders,we called evaluation meeting. His Excellency is not ready to gamble with health of anyone.
“Though we are anxious to resume to school but after considering the fact that not all needed facilities are put in place the meeting resolved that it is better to step down resumption of schools. We have agreed to go round all zones next week,to check update on provision of the needed gadgets.
“We are not happy to shift date,but we are desperate to secure health of our children. We are Ebola free in Ogun State,however,we are also working to ensure that Ebola does not enter Ogun State,” Taiwo emphasised.
He declared that as at Friday,Federal Government has not given the state any anti-ebola medical facilities,but added that, the state government on its part has trained 12,000 teachers against the disease.