The Nigeria Union of Teachers on Monday said that no fewer than 600 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced since terror sect, Boko Haram, began its violence campaign in the North-East.
Michael Alogba who is the President of NUT, stated this in Abuja during the commemoration of this year’s World Teachers Day, with the theme ”˜Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies’.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal at the event, assured the teachers of his administration’s commitment to initiating policies that would reposition teachers’ education in the country.
According to him, government will continue to give priority to education as part of efforts to address challenges of illiteracy.
The event was wrapped up with the presentation of the President’s award of a brand new car. The award was presented to Mr. Alade Taiwo, a teacher at Dominic’s Primary School, Ondo State, who emerged as the best teacher in Nigeria for the year 2015.
The NUT revealed that 308 teachers fell to the insurgents’ attacks in Borno State alone; 75 in Adamawa; 18 in Yobe; 25 in Kaduna; 120 in Plateau; 63 in Kano and two in Gombe State.
The union lamented the inability of the government to uncover the whereabouts of the missing Chibok girls more than 500 days after they were abducted by members of the Boko Haram.
Alogba reiterated that the insecurity in and around schools is antithetical to the delivery of quality education in our school system. “As teachers of primary and secondary schools, who are at the heart and foundation of education delivery and care to our children, we are devastated by the damage the atrocious activities of the Boko Haram sect have done to the education system as well as the lives and future of thousands of children particularly in the North-East of the country” he said.
NUT emphasised that the memory of the Chibok girls and thousands of others whose potential and lives have been truncated remains traumatic and demoralising.
This, he said, was in addition to over 19,000 teachers that have been displaced and are suffering great loses due to the barbaric activities of the insurgents.
The NUT President also criticised the lopsided policies of the Federal Government on education, adding that the trend had encouraged undue commercialisation of education, rather than safeguarding the citizens’ right to quality education.