There was a mild drama yesterday at the centre for the verification of certificates of primary school teachers in Edo State as a teacher in Asologun Primary School, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Benin City, Mrs. Augusta Odemwinge, could not read a sworn affidavit she tendered as part of her credentials.
State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who paid an unscheduled visit to the state Staff Training Centre venue of the exercise, was appalled that a teacher could not read her own document, saying; “If you can’t read, what do you teach the pupils, what do you write on the board?” State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Patrick Ikosimi, who was also at the venue to monitor the exercise, said the teacher’s failure to read her own document was “an embarrassment.”
On arrival at the centre, the governor took time to peruse some of the teachers’ credentials and documents presented. When Mrs. Odenwingie took her turn for the exercise, the governor, who listened to her defense, asked her to read the affidavit she presented, however, she was stuttering and was unable to read coherently, reading as if a kindergarten were learning to read, to the consternation of everybody around.
Comrade Ikosimi, who described Odemwingie failure as an embarrassment, said the union was in tune with the state government on the need to sanitise the school system. He said: “We are committed to partnering with the government to reposition education in the state.
What this teacher has just displayed is a show of shame; it shows the decadence in the education sector. “As the chairman of NUT, I have written to the governor that we are in total support of what he is doing. He should properly involve the NUT so that together, we can fish out those that are not viable so as to sanitise the system,” he said.
It will be recalled that at a televised town hall meeting on education on August 1, Governor Oshiomhole has disclosed an audit carried out by the state Information and Communications Technology Agency showed that 789 out of 1, 379 teachers obtained Primary School Leaving Certificates before the age of eight or nine years old. The governor further disclosed that only 1, 287 teachers representing nine per cent of 14, 484 total number of teachers in the state have accurate and proper records. About 91 per cent have various forms of discrepancies in their records, according to him.
Meanwhile, three female teachers, Mrs. Patience Osadolor, Momodu Aisha and Patience Oroghene, who were kidnapped at gunpoint in Orhogbua Primary School in Ovia North East Local Government Area penultimate Tuesday have been released unhurt.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that the kidnappers released the victims after allegedly receiving N7 million ransom. However, the payment could not be confirmed from authorities of any of the security agents in the state even though a family member, who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the payment.