Edo State Government audit of Primary Schools in the State has revealed massive falsification of age of Primary School Teachers in the State Public Schools.
In a town hall meeting on education on State yesterday Governor Oshiomhole said its audit carried out by the State’s Information and Communications Technology showed that 789 teachers out of 1,379 obtained their Primary School Leaving Certificates before the age of 8 or 9.
He said “some of the records show there were a few who were particularly gifted and they finished Primary School before they were born.
“We found that of all our Primary School Teachers, only 1,287 representing 9% out of 14,484 teachers have proper and accurate records in our system. 91% have various forms of discrepancies in their records.
Oshiomhole said “about 1,379 teachers representing 11.5% claim that they obtained their Primary School Certificates after they had been employed as teachers. In fact, some obtained their Primary School Certificates not more than two years ago, from the school in which they were employed as teachers.
“The question is whether they went to Teachers’ Training College or obtained National Certificate of Education (NCE) before they went to Primary School. These are facts that have been well documented.
“It would not be helpful to the cause of education and our resolve to deliver quality education to our pupils if we do not deal with this issue decisively”.
The Governor who reeled out statistics on the teachers-student ratio in all the Local Governments in the State said the average of 30 students per teacher in the State is much lower than the UNESCO recommendation on student-teacher ratio saying this might mean that there are more teachers in the State Primary Schools than needed.
While noting that there were positives from the audit, the Governor said there are more female teachers than male teachers in the State and that “in some cases, we have more female pupils in schools than male and that is very encouraging, because in some States, they are still battling with how to get their female children to school, but that is not the case in Edo.”
He also noted that “as a result of the steps we have taken to restore confidence and integrity to our Public Schools, there has been a steady increase in enrolment in Public Junior Secondary Schools in the State.
The Governor who said the town hall meeting on education was called to find a solution to the problems said the Government was open to suggestions on the way forward.
Some of the stakeholders at the town hall meeting including the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Patrick Ikosimi, the Aidenojie of South Ibie, H.R.H Kelvin Danesi, the Ojirrua of Irrua, H.R.H William Momodu, Comrade Jude Obasanmi, Chairman, Conference of Non Governmental Organizations in Edo State, Rev. Asibor, Mr. Efe John, Mrs. Rosemary Abode and others urged the Governor to take a tough decision to properly sanitize the education sector.
However, some of them blamed some of the rot in the State Education Sector on the State Ministry of Education, the State Universal Basic Education Board and urged the Governor to extend his sanitation drive to the offending agencies.