For the past month, teachers and students alike have been on strike in protest of the Oyo State government’s plans to introduce a “public-private partnership” in its schools. The strike action was called by the Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on June 6 following students protest against the privatization scheme. Schools across the state were subsequently shut down due to the violent nature of some of the protests.
Striking teachers in Oyo state public schools have vowed to continue their strike despite Government order on Saturday July 9, which directed all teachers in the state to resume after announcing re-opening of schools across the state.
The strike action was called by the Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on June 6 following violent protests against the public/private partnership scheme announced by the Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on June 3, 2016.
Labour union and students from various schools across the state took to the streets to register their displeasure over the plan by the government to introduce Public-Private Partnership in public schools.
However, Governor Abiola Ajimobi said the policy on education was not designed to sell, privatize, commercialize or cede any of its public secondary schools to any individual or group, and following the disruption, he ordered all public schools to be shut.
“This reopening of schools does not in any way affect the ongoing strike in the State,” NLC leader, Mr. Olojede said in an online report. “Our struggle towards the payment of arrears of salaries and pensions for workers and pensioners in the state is still potent and intact. The entire workforce in the State, teachers in particular, will not return to work. They should wait for the directive from the NLC that asked them out of work since June 16, 2016.”
Civil servants (which includes teachers) have been on strike for over a month as a result of the state government’s inability to pay their salary for six months. Aside the primary school teachers who have been paid their February salary, others were last paid in December 2015, with some senior staff last paid in November.
Mr. Olojede also said, “Under no circumstance should any worker go to work until otherwise directed by labour leaders in the state.”
Meanwhile, the government has inaugurated a 14 man committee consisting 7 representatives of labour and 7 representatives of government that will look into the discrepancies and find a lasting solution.