Edo State Government has invited 1,300 Primary School teachers who have irregularities in their education certificates and age records to appear before a verification committee to defend themselves.
This was made known at a meeting the state Govenor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole held with the leadership of the state Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Comrade Emmanue Ademokun and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) led by Comrade Patrick Ikosimi.
The Governor who said that the exercise is not to witch-hunt anybody however insisted that it would not be business as usual and that those who have become too old to teach will have to give way.
Oshiomhole said “it is not my wish to preside over dismissals, first it is not cheap. Secondly, I have a responsibility to keep Edo going and ensure that our children are in good hands of teachers who are senile and also still strong to stand and competent to teach.
“If the facts reveal that there are teachers in the classroom who do not have the requisite qualification, you cannot insist that they remain in the system. The good news is that those who are not too old, who are capable of training, if we find that they are deficient and it is possible for them to benefit from training, we will give them training, what is not acceptable is to say it is business as usual”, he noted.
The Governor argued “we can mismanage everything in our country, if you mismanage education, you are killing our tomorrow, our collective future. The roads we are building, we won’t have brains to look over them. In the absence of brains, we won’t have growth and development.
“I have asked the Ministry of Education to invite those category of teachers whose number is about one thousand three hundred who from the records appear to have started their Primary School before they were born to come and speak to the fact because we are not assuming that those documents are iron-cast.”
The Governor said the Primary School teachers will be paid their months salary which was withheld while they embarked on strike. He said this is informed by the fact that the teachers are now back to the classrooms and have agreed to cover the lost ground.
It will be recalled that the Governor had at a Town Hall meeting on Education in the state on July 31 said an audit carried out by the State’s Information and Communications Technology unit showed that 789 teachers out of 1,379 obtained their Primary School Leaving Certificates before the age of 8 or 9.
He said at the meeting that “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.”