“I discovered Dichotomies and friction between Ebonyi State Secondary Education Board (SEB) and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) teachers as a devastating challenge pitching our school system and that must be solved with all alacrity”
The state Commissioner for Education, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima stated this during the Education Stakeholders’ meeting held at Peoples’ Club, Abakaliki.
The education stakeholders’ meeting was aimed at nipping in the bud the dichotomies and friction that have been tending to destabilize school system in Ebonyi state.
Citizens’ Advocate learnt that there has been power tussle between principals and teachers employed by Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) and Secondary Education Board (SEB) which previous commissioner tried to solve to no avail.
Dr. Chima in his opening speech said that the stakeholders’ meeting was brainstorm and proffer lasting solution to resolve the dichotomy and friction existing among SEB and UBEB in Ebonyi State, noting that a composite decision must be taken after due consultations.
Inaugurating a 19-man committee headed by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Blessing Ezeoke, the commissioner charged the committee to discharge its duty without fear or favour and submit report within a space of two weeks, because everlasting solution must be proffered to put end to the menace ravaging the school system in Ebonyi state.
Dr. Chima further said that the Ministry of Education under his watch whole-heartedly decided to find a smooth relationship to operate with a policy of confidence because of the peculiarity of the environment we find ourselves, reminding the Education Stakeholders that whichever position they choose is a privilege to leave a footprint for those coming behind to see.
He enjoined all the school managers to eschew all biases that they are principal, vice principal, vice principal admin, vice principal academics, bursar or a teacher and understand that they hold a mantle of development of Ebonyi state and that of children of the state in their hands.
He encouraged them to rather go for intellectual rivalry in terms of the knowledge they are imparting on the children.
According to him, they are taking care of human beings and not money that is transient, adding that in terms of money, one can never be satisfied no matter how much he acquires.
Dr. Chima advised people to move on with what God would want them to be, learn how to say I am sorry, learn how to accept their deficiencies, try to wipe off things and learn new things.
The Commissioner who maintained that now is a time for subtle change, stated that the administration of Engr. Dr. David Nweze Umahi from now henceforth, will operate an educational system that must be competitive within the global community, adding that Ebonyi state must catch up with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) starting from primary schools.
He wondered why some teachers and principals should be collecting thirteen thousand naira (N13,000) for Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) formerly known as junior WAEC and thirty four thousand naira (34,000) for WAEC.
He said that teachers who do this are no more professionals; they are no more role models.
Dr. Chima emphasized the need to remove any human stumbling blocks, pointing out that teachers should understand that their services is not just to the government of Ebonyi state of Nigeria but to the children and grandchildren of Ebonyi state and of Nigeria.
He appealed to principals to mentor each other to deliver on their mandates, assuring them that where friction and dichotomy exists in school, academic activities thrive and charged the committee to reason with all education stakeholders including JUSSPAN and ANCOPSS to come up with lasting peace among the junior and senior secondary school principals in the state.
However, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Primary Education, Mr. Uche Achi-Okpaga, the UBEB Chairman, Chief Hyacinth Ikpo and member three Universal Basic Education, Dr. Sylvester Awam maintained that friction between principals of junior and senior schools was lack of understanding and suggested for a committee to handle the matter.
The coordinator of EAs, STAs and TAs to the Governor on Education Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the president of Junior Secondary School principal Association of Nigeria, (JUSSPAN) Comr. Shedrack Nwoke, the President, All Nigerian Confederation of Principals Secondary Schools, Mr. Donatus Ovuoba, NUT national rep Mr. David Elom as well as the Chairman Association of Primary School heads of Nigeria Mr. Ephraim Opoke appealed to Ministry of Education to apply laws that established UBEB and SEB in resolving the matter. saying that the problem started when junior principal was on grade level fifteen and above while senior principal was grade level fourteen and below.