By Thompson Erhomonsele
BENIN CITY – There are strong indications that many teachers in public Secondary Schools in Edo State may soon be posted to rural areas, as Governor Adams Oshiomhole has charged the newly inaugurated Post-Primary Education Board to look into the lopsidedness in the rural-urban posting of teachers in the state.
Speaking after inaugurating the Board in his office, yesterday, Oshiomhole said there is a big racket in the posting of teachers in choice schools in preferred locations to the detriment of other schools in more remote parts of the state.
He said while he had taken steps in the past to block the loopholes exploited by the said teachers to circumvent the system, he noted that they found other ways to beat the system.
According to him “I ask you to look at the challenges facing post-primary education. One of them is the posting of teachers. This is the racket which I have been fighting over the past six and half years. There are forces in the system that are so strong and so entrenched that when you block one loophole, they open another.
“Today, as we speak, when I go out, people complain genuinely that they do not have enough teachers in some schools, particularly schools in rural areas. And yet in some other schools, we have more teachers than required. We’ve worked on this and it doesn’t seem we have got to the level we are comfortable with. We still have what we call illegal posting. We still have teachers inducing people to post them both in the ministry of education and the LG Secretariats. I ask you to review entirely the current posting and the needs of each of the secondary schools that we have.
“You have to ensure that every teacher spends some time in the rural area before being posted to the urban area so that over time, every teacher will have rural-urban experience.
“We will continue to find the resources, even at this time when things are tough, to fund education in the state. That is why even at the primary school level, we say local governments must pay their teachers first before they pay any other person and themselves. The irreducible minimum responsibility of any government is to make the right investment in education. If we are doing that at the level of the primary school, we must do that at the level of the junior secondary schools and senior secondary schools.
“Having discovered that we have teachers who couldn’t spell their father’s name and do not know the difference between judicial province and Onitsha prophet, we have reviewed the whole thing and we are convinced that part of the problem is that previous Education Boards have had cause to recruit political associates as teachers. There is no room for political patronage in teaching. Teaching is a professional job and being a relative or a brother of the party member is not a qualification for appointment.”
Responding, the Chairman of the Board, Hon Gabriel Oiboh, thanked the Governor for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to improve and the sustain the achievements in the education sector.
Members of the newly sworn-in Board are Mr. Moses Idawekhai, Mr. Richard Osayande, Mr. Osayemere Osawe and Mr. Fred Ohioma who will serve as Secretary of the Board.
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