The Governor made the clarification yesterday during a visit to his office by Civil Society Organisations in the state.
Oshiomhole who noted that only those incompetent to teach should be afraid of the test noted that “any of the problems that have bugged us down, the earlier we identify it and find the courage to fix it, we can still make up for lost time.
Oshiomhole argued that if everybody cannot be a graduate, everyone deserves to have a sound basic primary and junior secondary education.
The Governor said “I now find that the key element that would define the outcome is the teacher and the NUT is not willing for us to carry out this competency test. The teachers still earn what is called the Teachers Special Allowance.
“A level 12 teacher earns more than a civil servant. This is in recognition of the importance we attach to education. We are not getting what we should get. God will punish me if as Governor of this state, who has been so favoured by every person in terms of the number of votes I got from the local government areas, that I knowingly dumped the Edo child on teachers who will not impart knowledge.
Oshiomhole continued “I am not more patriotic than anyone of you. If you think what we are doing is right then I need you to help me to talk to the NUT.
“It is a sad day for me when I engage any segment of the working people. I am reluctant but they are taking undue advantage of it. Some states have done this competency test, why is Edo different? We have more compelling reason to do it”, he added.
“In this state, I am sure that we have many qualified teachers who are unemployed, so why should we fold our hands and watch those not qualified take charge of the future leaders of our state.”
Executive Director, African Network for Economic Justice, the Reverend David Ugolor who summarized the contributions of the Civil Societies Organisations said there was a consensus that the issue of competency test for teachers is very important to reposition quality education in Edo State; that there is the need for the Civil Society organizations to meet with the NUT leadership to get their side of the story and that the Civil society will set up an independent contact group to reach out to the NUT with a view to ensuring an agreement between the government and the NUT to move forward.
The Civil society groups thanked the Governor for the opportunity to share with them government’s policy on education.
Over twenty civil society organisations were in attendance at the meeting.