By Arowona Abdulazeez, Ilorin
A cleric, Pastor David Omorinoye, on Wednesday appealed for amicable settlement of the lingering industrial dispute involving some teachers in the nation’s unity schools.
Omorinoye, a former Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara made the appeal during a stakeholders meeting in Omu-Aran.
It was gathered that teachers in the 42 unity schools had few weeks ago embarked on a sit-at-home to protest the non-payment of their November 2016 salaries.
It was also revealed that teachers in 31 of the schools have been paid and had resumed duty leaving 11 schools of which Federal Government Girls College (FGC), Omu-Aran and FGC, Ilorin were among.
Omorinoye maintained that the prolong absence of teachers and stoppage of academic activities in most of the schools affected could jeopardise students’ overall performance.
Omorinoye, Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Omu-Aran chapter in Kwara, expressed concern that incessant industrial action in the nation’s institutions had remained a source of concern to religious leaders.
He said the development could be a stumbling block to the government’s efforts toward achieving qualitative education for the citizenry.
Omorinoye said the development was a negation of the desired change envisioned for the education sector.
“There is little the students can be rush to make up for the loss of academic lessons, especially those in SS- classes who are at critical periods of their academic pursuit.
“Our appeal is to the Federal Government to imbibe dialogue in achieving amicable settlement of the industrial action by the teachers in some of the unity schools.’’
Mr James Fabiyi, the Chairman, Parent Teachers Association, FGGC, Omu-Aran, on his part, said the association had never relented toward ensuring amicable settlement of the dispute.
He expressed regret that teachers employed by the association were also prevented from carrying out their academic duties because of the industrial action.
“We have made a formal appeal in a letter to the Federal Government through the Minister of Education for clearance of the November 2016 Salary which is the bone of contention.
“We are still appealing to the government to consider the plight of the teachers and intervene for the students to resume their normal academic activities,” he said.
Efforts to get to the Principal of FGGC Omu-Aran for comment on the development proved abortive.
It would be recalled that teaching staff in the 104 Federal Government Colleges across the nation have indicated their desire to embark on a nation-wide strike by June 12 if the Federal Government failed to meet their demands for the payment of their salary arrears.
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