Teachers in state-owned primary and secondary schools in Cross River are demanding monetary and chalk contributions from students before they can teach.
Janet Etim, a student of Government Secondary School in Calabar South, said the students were tired of staying at home because of the workers’ strike.
“Our school principal says if we want to learn, we should support with contributions of money or chalks for our class teachers.
“Some of the teachers and other workers also complained that they had not been paid their monthly salaries and other allowances by the state government,” she said.
The teachers are, however, blaming the state government for failing to provide them with the necessary tools to work.
“Come to some of our schools, we do not have chalks to write on the blackboards.
As basic as chalks are, we don’t have.
It is either we, the teachers, provide chalks or we compel students to buy them so that we can continue to teach,” according to a teacher.
Speaking to journalists in Calabar, the teacher said many community schools in the state have not had chalks in the last five years, adding that teachers were angry at the situation and decided to join in the ongoing industrial action in the state.
Another teacher in a government primary school in a local community in Akamkpa Local Government Area said teachers were tired of complaining over chalks in the last five years.
Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Education, Castro Ezama, refuted the teacher’s claim, saying that it was not true in any way.
He however sympathised with the teachers, saying they were in order on their demands for salary increase and promotions, but that the timing for the strike was very wrong.
“The timing of this strike is heavily affecting our students who because of COVID-19 lockdown were at home for several months. Now this strike will further distort the academic calendar,” Mr Ezama noted.