Teachers of public schools in Edo State under the aiges of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), have condemned the State Government’s education policy of keeping pupils in public schools beyond 1.45 pm closing hour.
Also condemned by the teachers is the abolition of leisure/sporting activities due to over-crowding of learning and curriculum contents.
The teachers while expressing divergent view in the State Government’s education programme termed, “EDOBEST programme,” described it as a negation of the laid down regulations of the Union and also not in tandem with Nigeria’s basic education curriculum.
It would be recalled that the Union had in August this year, threatened to embark on industrial action over alleged poor condition of services and welfare, which was later postponed till the end of the September.
The NUT members expressed their displeasure in a letter of protest dated 19 September and addressed to the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Joan Oviawe.
The State Chairman, Secretary of NUT, Pius Okhueleigbe, Moni Mike Modesty Itua respectively, and the State Chairman of Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON), Segun Ogene, who signed the protest letter, noted that the adjustment of resumption and closing time in the public primary schools in the State was unilaterally done by the SUBEB without recourse to the laid down regulations of the NUT.
The letter reads in part:
“It has been revealed that most of the school children do not take their breakfasts before coming to school. Also, most parents do not provide food or money for snacks for their children due to the abject poverty that they found themselves. Consequently, the children have been reported to have fell ill too frequently when kept beyond their closing hour of 1.45 pm.
“Additionally, they lose total concentration during the extra time for the fact that they had attained the ‘learning plateau.’ As a result, the teachers are made to run from pillar to post, trying to remedy the bad situation.
“It is worth mentioning that Edo State Government or the Federal Government of Nigeria has not commenced the much awaited school feeding programme in our State, which perhaps may have provided succour to the pupils.”
The teachers who also took a swipe at the abolition of leisure and sporting activities in the public schools, noted that education is centered on cognitive, affective and psychomotor.
While noting that the stoppage of social and sporting activities would hinder the pupils to explore their various school environments in terms of physical education, the teachers urged the Government to quickly look inwards and make amends on the abolition.
According to them, Union was concerned that the products from primary schools may become deficient despite the State Government’s intention for an all round/all inclusive primary education in the State.
On the school curriculum, the Union noted that the EDOBEST programme curriculum was at variance with the Nigeria’s basic education as regards primary school, especially the omission of Edo language as a subject from the EDOBEST programme.
They however urged the State Government and the managers of the programme to do the needful with a view to perfecting the programme, and that everything should be done to ensure that the curriculum contents conform with the national curriculum in all ramifications.