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Teachers union calls for boycott of school restart

17 September 2014, 06:40

Lagos-The head of the main teachers union called on Tuesday for a boycott of next week's re-opening of schools, saying there had not been enough training to protect against the Ebola virus.

Michael Olukoya, president of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), said members should boycott next Monday's planned re-opening because they have not received training and supplies like hand gloves and sanitisers promised by the government.

"The schools are still the same as before the outbreak," Olukoya said. "Teachers should be trained. They should be provided with the thermometers, gloves and hand sanitisers."

President Goodluck Jonathan responded by saying he would "plead" with the NUT to not go ahead with the industrial action.

Also Read: Teachers boycott meeting over resumption date

"Why do we want to create problems while it is not necessary? It is uncalled for," he told reporters.

The president asserted that "we have managed Ebola very well" in Nigeria and that closing its schools was giving the wrong signal to the world.

Education minister Ibrahim Shekarau said earlier this month that schools would resume on September 22 after their re-opening was delayed due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Nigeria.

The re-opening was initially delayed from September 15 to October 13 due to the outbreak, but the date was later moved forward to September 22.

Eight people have died and over 20 have been infected by Ebola in Nigeria. The outbreak started in the commercial capital Lagos in July, after an infected Liberian official flew into the city, and spread to Port Harcourt, the hub of the nation's oil industry.

The current outbreak has killed 2,461 people, mostly in three West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the United Nations fears 20,000 people could be infected by the end of the year.


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