28 February 2013

Nigeria: Bauchi Govt Moves to Replace Striking Teachers

Bauchi — The Bauchi State Government has concluded arrangements to recruit about 5,000 teachers to replace the striking secondary school teachers in the state.

This is coming against the backdrop of the face-off between the state government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS, over alleged irregular deductions of their allowances by the government.

The union called out its members on strike following the decision by the government to unilaterally deduct allowances of civil servants and public officers to fund some of its programmes.

Already the Teaching Service Commission has said it had so far received more than 20,000 applications from applicants to be employed as teachers in secondary schools in the state.

Chairman of the Commission, Yahaya Baba, said: "The state government is making plans to replace any secondary school teacher who fails to resume duties. Already, the Ministry of Education had requested for 3,000 new teachers while the state Education Board also requested for 2,000 teachers, bringing the total number of needed teachers to 5,000.

"We have no option than to terminate their appointments and replace them with those we have on ground. The commision will ensure that they are paid all their entilements and other retirement benefits."

He however, noted that the commission was waiting for further directives from the state government on when to start terminating the appointments of the striking school teachers because according to him, "no teacher can hold the government to ransom."

Baba said the state government deducted the allowances of both public and civil servants in the state because of its dwindling resources.

He lamented that parents and students had been suffering because of the selfish interests of the striking teachers, pointing out that their actions had jeopardised the educational sector in the state.

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