Primary and Secondary teachers of Rivers State owned tertiary institutions have cried out over their six years unpaid salaries and called on the Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, to consider their plight.
The teachers at a joint media briefing with the civil society organisation in Port Harcourt said they have been experiencing untold hardship and are unable to pay their rent and children feels.
They claimed they are teachers from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Demonstration Secondary School, Ndele, Seashell Model Primary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State University International Secondary and Staff Schools, Port Harcourt and Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Comprehensive Secondary School, Bori, all in the state.
One of the teachers, Olu Ikulghan, lamented that he and his wife, who are both teachers in the same school, can no longer take care of their children needs.
He explained sadly that his children in higher institutions have dropped out of school because they could not pay their fees, while the younger ones in secondary school were at home as they could not afford their tuition.
Ikulghan said, “I was employed to teach right from 1991. I was just a young man and I married somebody, a female teacher from same school. With the recent development, both of us are affected and our children are badly affected.
“Our children in higher institutions, a boy and girl cannot continue their education because we cannot afford their tuition fees.
“Then the two other ones in secondly school are also at home, dropped out of school.”
He appealed to the governor to come to their aide to enable their children return to school and continue their studies.
“It has been so bad for us because I and my wife are staff of the same demonstration school. So, I appeal to our governor, Nyesom Wike, to do something about it, so that our children can return back to the school.
“My daughter was reading medicine but she had to come back and now is doing nothing,” Ikulghan said tearfully.
Speaking, the Chairman, Rivers State Civil Society Organisation, Enefaa Georgewill, appealed to the state governor to consider the hardship being experienced by the teachers, coupled with the harsh economy.
“For us in the Rivers State Civil Society Organisation, we want to plead with the Rivers State Government, to in good conscience, consider the position on the non-payment of teachers of Rivers State Demonstration Primary and Secondary schools for about six to seven years now.
“We are making this plead because we know the governor is one who in recent times have carried out certain level of philanthropic act, even to persons who are outside our state.
“We want to call on you the governor to end his tenure clean and go down in history as someone who paid up the salaries of these teachers.
“The governor should call on these teachers. Seven years is not seven days, some of them are dying, some can’t pay their children fees and they are facing untold suffering.
“As an organisation, we salute the governor’s courage and we are equally going to praise him for his lofty step. We are quite sure that the affected teachers are Rivers people and his supporters as well.
“So, let him give a human face to this issue. These teachers are still teaching, hoping that he would come to their aide someday. Considering the kind of hardship we are facing in this country, the governor should consider them and pay them,” Georgewill pleaded.