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Problems Of Strike Action By Teachers To Students And Parents: A Case Of Orsu Local Government Area

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ABSTRACT

The focus of this work is to examine the problems of strike action by teachers to students and parents as it concerns Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State.  Random sampling technique became necessary in data collection.  It was discovered that while schools go on strike, the pupils/students do little or no academic work within the period which have adverse effect on the up-bringing of  children of school age.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of Study

Since 1936, the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) at National level and in different parts of the country has on so many occasions embarked upon trade disputes and strike actions to back-up its demands.  In all cases, the cause of such disputes was either when the government would not negotiate with the union or failed to honour established agreements.  There has been so many such disputes through out the country at least in its 56 years (1931-1987) of existence.  In spite of trade disputes and strike actions which took place earlier, one shall discuss the recent trade disputes and make a list of others that were equally of importance.  The National Joint Negotiating Council for Teachers (NIMCT) 1964-65, the Public Service Commission (Udoji Commission) 1973-74 and the trade dispute between the NUT, Imo State Wing and the State Government of march 1981.

The National Joint Negotiating Council for Teachers (NJNCT) 1965 to back-up its demand for better conditions of service for its members, the Nigerian Union of Teachers staged a nation-wide strike in June; 1964.  The strike action was called off after the then government of the Federation agreed to appoint a National Joint Negotiating Council for teachers.  This council was appointed in October, 1964 with the following terms of reference.  To consider the grading remunerations of service of teachers and to make recommendations (NJNCT) report, (1965:3).  The memoranda used were submitted to it by:

(1)     The Nigerian Union of Teachers.

(2)     The then five Governments of Nigeria.

(3)     The voluntary Agency, school proprietor

(4)     The Lagos City Council (Local Authority)

(5)     The Local Authorities of the Western Region.

(6)     The Local Authority of the Northern Region.

In its memorandum captioned “The Teachers’ Case”, the NUT complained against the gross inadequacy of teachers remunerations, their intolerable conditions of service and their inequality; when compared with those of their counter parts in the teaching fields in Government and other sectors of the civil service.  The teachers argued that the situation was responsible for the exodus of a large number of able and conscientious teachers from the service of voluntary agencies.  In the view of the NUT, the only solution to the problem was the introduction of a unified teaching service for all teachers in the country.

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This demand as legitimate as it was could not be achieved until after the public service Review Commission of (1973-74).  The NUT also recommended:

(1)     Equal pay for work

(2)     Equitable grading and new salary scale for teachers.

(3)     Creation of promotion prospects.

(4)     The retiring age for teachers to be raised above 55 years and

(5)     Leave and leave pay for teachers.

In their own memorandum, the missionary, voluntary Agency school proprietors emphasized that religion was “essential to education” not just as one subject squeezed into a secular weekly school curriculum; but as a whole atmosphere that parades and permeates the school”.  As a group, they demanded a reconfirmation from the government and the Nigerian Union of Teachers.  What they (the missionary socities) were truly and legally the proprietors of education institutions and employesrs of the teachers in them (NJNCT) report (1965:89).

Since the request for uniform conditions of service and the establishment of unified teaching service featured prominently in the teachers’ demands, and since these cannot be realized under the present arrangements, the council recommended the establishment of regional or Local Schools Board; to deal with the appointments and promotions within the teaching service discipline, collection and disbursement of funds and such other duties; as the Minister Education may from time to time direct; provided that:

(i)       Voluntary Agency Schools retain their denominational character under proprietor-ship.

(ii)      Religious freedom as guaranteed by the constitution of the Republic is observed and respected.

(iii)     There is adequate presentation on every board of:

(a)     Voluntary Agencies  (b) Government  (c) Local Government  (d) Nigerian Union of Teachers and Northern Teachers Association were applicable.

Furthermore; the council, recommended among other things that Graduate teachers salaries be brought at par with those of their counterparts in the civil service, appointment to promotion posts to be made on merit; the retiring Age of voluntary Agency teachers to confirm with the practice in the public service of the Region concerned; and that leave allowances be paid to teachers (NJNCT) Reports, (1965:17-20).  All the recommendations as outlined above were jointly accepted by all governments of the Federation.  The National Joint Negotiating Council for Teachers was all round success for the NUT and all that is stood for.

It was in September, 1973 that the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon appointed the commission; with Chief Jerome Udoji as its Chairman; and its terms of reference were: Undertake with the aid of appropriate grading terms, the grading of all posts in the public service, establish scales of salaries as corresponding to such grades and as a result of job evaluation of posts, recommended salary scales; as corresponding to such.  The inclusion of all teachers in the work of commission was seen as an opportunity for the NUT; and it made full use of it:  The union wrote its memorandum to the commission in then chapters of 120 pages.  This touched on almost all aspects of the teaching profession.

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1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The facts so far needed for this investigation can best be collected from teachers.  It is clearly known that the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) is the only organ qualified to declare strike action at either state or federal level.  The teachers must always justify their actions; before and after any strike.  This then makes it difficult to collect reliable data or information for this project work.  Most times, the NUT officials declare strike action, without giving either the state or federal government enough time for deliberation.  As such the researchers on this topic are likely to be fed with unbalanced information.  Most times it is difficult or impossible to collect needed information by researchers from the N.U.T. offices.  The officials fear the exposure of such data in order to prosecution in law courts.  It is also known that most of the NUT officials are teachers serving in different schools. This then makes it very difficult for researchers to met them for face to face discussions.

This also poses a big problem for research work such as this.

1.3     PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study is for the researcher to find out some of the causes of strike action by teachers, its impact on the students and the parents too. The socio-economic impact it has on the student and their parents/guardians; within Orlu Local Government Area. It is always discovered that whenever children are out of school, it poses a lot of problems to parents and the pupils/students too. Most parents do not have maids who can help control their children; while away in the day for work or business many students/pupils have fallen victims to road accident, kidnapping or assassination within strike periods.

It then means that this study at a glance exposes the threats to student/pupils and parents/guardians during strike action by teachers.

Through this study, the society sees how he academic calendar or scheme of work is shifted to future periods; making it difficult foe scholars to complete their courses within the scheduled time or period. The study hereby exposes the loss suffered not only by the scholars and their parents but the active society.

1.4     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

          The significance of this study or project work shows its importance within the Orlu Local Government Area; as the researcher highlights those problems which students/pupils encounter at the time of strike by their teachers through this investigation, the expected remedies on the part of the teachers, through the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) are highlighted. This work will in essence serve as the anti-dot to the parents, the children and even the NUT by providing what role they will play whenever there is strike action. What they do at that period will help to reduce the level of hazard experienced within that period. On the other hand, this investigation suggest to the government the much need to keep negotiating with the striking teachers in order to end-up the strike; without taking much time. This study has discovered that teachers’ demands are endless and the government must be conscious of that, in order to know how best such issues can be handled to avoid strike action.

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1.5     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study shed light on the extent or the boarder line within which the researcher is expected to do this investigation.

From the topic, the whole work is limited to the borderlines of the Orlu Local Government Area it is then clearly spelt out that the researcher concentrates in finding out what impacts the teachers’ strike action does on the socio-economic life of the students/pupils and their parents at this period of strike. The researcher is not by any means expected to carry out the investigation beyond Orlu Local Government Area.

1.6     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

          The research questions are essentials tools for facts finding in ay project work.

Such questions must be short, clear and direct to the point or devoid of any ambiguity.

The question in use here are framed in a way that the answer expected from the respondents is either “YES or NO” and no other contribution was expected. More so, such responses must be oral.

(1)     Has there been a strike action by Imo State Teachers.

(2)     Did schools (primary/post primary) close within the period

(3)     Did pupils/students do the expected level of academic work at that period?

(4)     Did some pupils/students get involved in accidents or other forms of mishaps at the period?

(5)     Do parents feel fine to see their children out of school during strike period?

1.7     DEFINITION OF TERMS

This shows the list of some wards used in this project; which readers may find difficult to understand. Such words are hereby written out and shortly explained:

(1)     Essence               –         Reason or Cause

(2)     Researcher          –         One doing the research work

(3)     Respondents       –         One who answer the research                                                          question

(4)     Investigation        –         Fact Finding

(5)     Boarder Lines      –         Boundaries

(6)     Concentrate         –         Where much attention is given

(7)     Legitimate            –         Legal or approved

(8)     Recommended    –         Set out for acceptance

(9)     Appropriate          –         Good enough for a purpose

(10)   Correspond          –         To fit in orlu


Pages:  30

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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