Imo State government-owned schools were locked on Monday as teachers complained that they had not been paid seven months salaries, as many schools reopened nationwide.
Some of the teachers, who were seen at a meeting at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) secretariat on Port Harcourt road, Owerri, complained that they have not received salaries since March.
A visit to some of the schools within and outside the metropolis showed that many of their premises have been overgrown with weeds and grasses with reptiles and rodents are seen in some of the classrooms.
It was gathered that some schools, which reopened failed to observe the COVID -19 protocol of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as most of their pupils and students did not wear their facemasks.
Most schools also have no boreholes or pipe-borne water for their pupils, teachers, parents and visitors to wash their hands.
One of the parents, Nze Mark Odor, whose two children are in Nekede Secondary School, noted: “Nothing to show that these people are preparing against the COVID-19; no pipe-borne water for children to wash their hands.
“Teachers were not given salaries. These children need guidance and the teachers cannot teach the pupils with empty stomachs,” he said.