The Secretary to Edo Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvhere, said on Friday that the ongoing strike by primary school teachers in the state would not affect Saturday’s Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination.
The state NUT Secretary, Mr Akin Adeojo, told NAN that all the 18 Local Governments in the state had failed to implement the Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) for almost two years.
He, however, did not say why the union shunned the meeting conveyed by the state government for dialogue
Ihonvhere told NAN in Benin said that the state government was surprised at the decision of the union to embark on strike, quite earlier than the nationwide proposed date of June 3.
He said that the state government had been in constant dialogue with the teachers and had met their demands.
The SSG, however, said that the situation of the state on issue of the payment of the 27.5 per cent TSS was different from other states.
He said that the state was already implementing TSS and was also trying to explore options to improve revenue-base of the local governments that were unable to pay.
Ihonvbere expressed surprised that the state NUT had commenced strike earlier than scheduled.
He added: “government cannot understand why the teachers will commence the strike on Friday bearing in mind that examination has been scheduled for Saturday’’.
He appealed to the union to allow the children write their examinations and not deprive them of the opportunity.
The SSG said the government was ready to dialogue with the union anytime, adding that government scheduled a meeting with the executives of the union on Friday, but they did not attend.
The state Commissioner for Basic Education Mr Patrick Agwinede, said that alternative measures had been put in place to ensure that the primary school certificate examinations was y conducted in the state.
He said that both human and material resources had already been fully mobilised, adding that 76,000 pupils were expected to take the exams in 365 centres across the state.