Sunday, 23 March 2014

Oshiomhole's Teachers Directive Hits The Rock,As Teachers Boycott Exam

Only a handful of public school teachers in Edo State took part in the controversial competency test that the state government asked public school teachers in the state to undertake, as most of them shunned the test.
The test was meant to determine the eligibility of the over 13, 000 teachers in the employment of the state government to continue as teachers in its schools.
At the University of Benin, where teachers in the Edo South district were booked to write the test, only 73 teachers were accredited while 14 and 12 teachers were reportedly accredited in the Edo Central and Edo North districts respectively.
Some of the teachers, who wrote the test at the University of Benin, said that they had to come for it because they were afraid of losing their jobs.
“My brother, I come oh,” a male teacher said in pidgin. “What if Oshiomhole wins the case and he sacks us for not coming? Will the union feed me? That’s why I decided to come and see what is happening,” he said.
It was learnt that less than only 15 teachers presented themselves at Ekpoma, venue of the test in Edo central, while an observer of the exercise at Auchi in Edo North district described it as “very scanty”.
Speaking on the exercise, secretary of the Edo State chapter of the NUT, Mr Akin Adeojo, said he was pleased that the teachers complied with the directive not to attend the exercise.
He said it was regrettable that the Edo State government chose to disregard a court injunction restraining it from proceeding with the competency test.
Counsel to Academic Staff Union of Secondary School (ASSUS), Barrister Olayiwola Afolabi, who was at the venue of the exercise, expressed displeasure over the decision of the Edo State government to go ahead with the competency test even when a subsisting court injunction ruled otherwise.
He debunked the allegation credited to the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Loius Odion, that the court order was not served on the state government, adding that the order was pasted on the walls of some offices at the Government House when the officials were evading them.
It was observed that security personnel were on ground to forestall any breakdown of law and order following alleged threats by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) to disrupt the exercise.
The Chairman of SUBEB, Prince Stephen Alao, who was on ground to monitor the test, said the test was not meant to shortlist teachers for retrenchment.
“This is the beginning of a learning exercise for Edo State primary and secondary teachers.
“With this assessment going on today, government would now be able to plan properly in the training for all our teachers in the state.
“This is because, without the assessment, we will not know the kind of training to organise for upgrading our teachers.
“So, this test is just merely to ascertain where we are and where we need to go and that has been the dream of the governor.
“And with this assessment, I am so glad that this is one of the first steps in many years to revamp the education sector in Edo State,” he said.

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