School principals in Nasarawa state on Monday ignored an earlier appeal by labour for them not to supervise the National Examination Council (NECO) in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that workers in the area had embarked on strike over the failure of the state government to meet their demands.
The workers had accused the government of failing to grant them annual salary increment and promotion even when they deserved it.
Pensioners were also not paid their full entitlements as and when due.
Mr Abdulahi Agwai, the Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Education had on May 26 announced that commissioners, permanent secretaries, principals of schools and their deputies would supervise the exam following the workers’ strike.
NAN further reports that on the same day, Abdullahi Adeka, who had been removed as chairman of the union, announced the suspension of the strike, saying government had begun negotiations to meet the workers’ demands.
But on May 27, Mr Bala Umar, who replaced Adeka, urged workers not to resume work, insisting that government had yet to meet their demands.
Umar also appealed to principals and their deputies not to supervise the exams.
On Monday, May 29, Gov. Tanko Al-Makura told stakeholders in the state that to the best of his knowledge, the workers were not on strike.
Almakura added that workers, who refused to resume work would be doing so at their own risk.
A NAN correspondent, who visited most secondary schools in the area, reports that principals and their deputies were seen supervising the examination.
However, the principals and education inspectors refused to grant speak with NAN.
NAN also reports that the examination went on peacefully in schools visited as men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) were seen stationed at strategic locations in order to prevent any breach of the peace and protect the students and examination materials.
Some teachers, who said they preferred to remain anonymous, accused the state government of paying lip-service to the workers’ demands.
According to them, no country can achieve meaningful development without a sound educational base.
They, therefore, urged the state government to meet the demands of the workers.
Meanwhile, some students have called for a resolution of the dispute in the interest of the education in the state in particular and the country at large.
Mr Godwin Moses, a student, said the strike was a setback for the education sector.
“The on-going workers’ strike has affected our education negatively as academic activities have stopped in secondary schools and the strike is unfortunate; no student will be comfortable staying at home,
“That is why I want to use this medium to appeal to the state government and the organised labour to dialogue in order to end the strike in our interest,” he said.
Another student, Habiba Garba, also appealed to the government and union to discuss ways to end the strike. (NAN)