The Nigeria Union of Teachers in Yobe, on Monday threatened to embark on strike if the state government failed to upgrade the employment status of 1, 240 teachers in the next two weeks.

The state Chairman of the NUT, Malam Lawan Ibrahim, gave the warning while fielding questions from newsmen in Damaturu on the World Teachers Day.

He said that the “1, 240 qualified and experienced teachers” comprised of 51 university graduates, 1, 134 NCE and 55 Diploma holders sponsored by the state Universal Basic Education Board to obtain new qualifications.

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The chairman chided the government for neglecting teachers’ welfare, thereby forcing “a scenario of the experienced teachers leaving for greener pasture with consequent effect on the learners.”

Lawan also said the state government had not paid the annual salary increment of teachers and their promotion arrears for eight years.

He urged the government to review the cases of teachers laid-off following what he termed as an inconclusive verification exercise of primary school teachers in the state.

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The Yobe NUT chairman noted that the issues and other problems confronting teachers had negatively affected the quality of education in public schools.

“This has resulted in dwindling teacher enrollment with high number of pupils per classroom, thereby affecting the academic performance of pupils in the state.”

The chairman, therefore, urged the government to intervene in order to avert an industrial action by teachers in public schools across the state.

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“The union will not guarantee industrial harmony for failure to address the situation by Monday, 19th October 2015,” he said.

Reacting to the development, Alhaji Abdulkadir Hamza, Director Schools in the state Ministry for Education, appealed to the NUT to adopt dialogue in addressing the problems.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria that the state government would address all the issues “very soon”