… Quacks and impostor are corrupting and debasing the system
… The dissolved SEB is the custodian of ghost workers not teachers
By Charles Nwankwo
All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) Ebonyi State Chapter has cried out for the state Government to constitute professionals to manage the affairs of Secondary Education Board to ensure professionalism in the system.
The leadership and members of the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools expressed their feeling while reacting to the speech of the Hon. Commissioner for Education Dr. Onyebuchi Chima in a meeting with principals, TAs and STAs at the Peoples’ Club Enugu Express-way to discuss how best teaching and learning could be re-professionalized in Ebonyi State.
Earlier in his address, the Hon. Commissioner for Education Dr. Onyebuchi Chima said that the meeting was anchored on how to re-professionalize teaching and learning in Ebonyi State Education system from nursery to tertiary institution, describing teaching profession as the mother of all professions that no amount of auditing that can professionalized if teachers are not ready to professionalize themselves.
Dr. Chima who wondered why the leadership of ANCOPSS folds their hands and watch some people destroying teaching profession by signing the name of someone who is doing business in Abuja, Cameroon etc and principal allow certain unprofessional people to supervise them and tell them to do what they know is wrong and they succumb to it because they want the sleeping dogs to lie, warned the principals never to collect any levy not approved by Government.
He charged them to abide by the code of conduct and guiding principles both at the state and national branch to ensure that the smelling rats are uprooted; pointing out that teaching profession would succeed through communalism.
The Hon. Commissioner also in the meeting said categorically that the 300 TAs and STAs posted by the state Government to help in traversing education in Ebonyi state to expected standard have poor dedication to duty, disclosing that the Ministry of Education has received several reports of TAs and STAs demanding for transport money, intimidating school principal and requesting for document that doesn’t concern them in schools.
Dr. Chima stated that many of the TAs and STAs are placing soil fingers in the job assigned to them by the state Government, refusing to identify themselves by putting on the customized Education Marshals’ Apron, sign visitors’ book and divulge their names.
He urged principals to chase away anybody that visits their school in the name of TA or STA without putting on the apron because such a person is not from the ministry.
He said that the Ministry of Education is fully aware that many of the TAs, STAs might have travelled out of the state and outside the country while their salary drops in their account every month, indicating that the Ministry has taken evaluation of all the report some of them submitted so far.
The Commissioner directed evaluators from the Ministry of Education to engage the TAs, STAs on a mandatory performance evaluation exercise which the report will be presented to the state Executive Council meeting for onward action.
Dr. Chima opined that principals should conduct first and second term exams while the Ministry of Education shall conduct Unified Mock Exams for NECO, WAEC for SS 3 students and BECE for JS 3 students.
He directed principals and proprietors to submit the comprehensive list of students that will take the mentioned exams to the Ministry of Education.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Deacon Elijah Ituma encouraged the principals to follow procedure in the teaching profession, stating that in public service, the Secondary Education Board has the right to recommend a principal and the Commissioner approves but some of the principals were made principal without the notice of the Hon. Commissioner. He implored them to reject any unlawful practice in the public service.
Deacon Ituma advised the principals not to allow people to intimidate them, maintaining that principals have strong role to ensure that who is not working doesn’t receive salary to reduce work load and creating space to employ new teachers into the system.
Similarly, the Hon. Commissioner Dr. Onyebuchi Chima accused the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) of harbouring unapproved schools in Ebonyi State.
He requested that NAPPS should unveil all the unapproved schools, directing the Secretary of the association to submit to the Ministry of Education within 48 hours the comprehensive directory of NAPPS that will indicate approved and unapproved schools.
Dr. Chima advised the proprietors to review all the private schools registration files to ensure that all the necessary documents are in the file including power of Attorney and survey plan documents authenticating that the school is operating on legal land.
The Commissioner described some of the private schools as a money collection centre, adding that affiliation of schools may stop in the next academic session, because such practice is encouraging mushrooming of schools in the state.
The state Chairman of All Nigeria Conference of Principal of Secondary Schools, Mr. Donatus Ovuoba thanked the Hon. Commissioner for his doggedness since he assumed office to change the ugly trend in the state school system, affirming that no school is having beyond the number of teachers physically present in the school, stating that principals prepare and submit essential data and nominal roll to Secondary Education Board who submits to the Ministry of Finance that controls the central pay rolling.
Mr. Ovuoba said that the field screening was not necessary; suggesting that e-payment office should print out all the people in their system and compare with the essential data and nominal roll, then the real ghost workers will be found out.
He said that the case of ghost workers and some principals not meeting up to desired standard should be channeled to the Secondary Education Board who appoints principals and employ teachers without considering the qualification and experience of the person.
Mr. Ovuoba appealed to Government to release teachers’ salary because teachers are suffering of what they are innocent of.
In his reaction, the Ebonyi State Chairman of NAPPS, Mr. Kingsley Igboke appreciated the serious effort of the Hon. Commissioner for he always guide and give professional advice on how to thrive in the state.
Mr. Igboke pledged that the association will abide by his directive to ensure professionalism in the school system.Follow us