Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State on Saturday warned that punitive measures would be melted out to teachers who engage in truancy.
Bello, who gave the warning when he declared open the 2017/2018 (UBEC/NSUBEB ) training for 8,893 teachers in Minna stressed that truancy would no longer be tolerated among teachers in the state.
The governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Malam Ahmed Matane, said the authority had observed high rate of absentism of teachers in schools.
“We have quite a number of teachers on our payroll but there is no commensurate service because many of them engage in truancy rather than adhering to the ethics of the job.
“We shall no longer tolerate this and I can assure you that there shall be no sacred cow.
“A school that is supposed to have ten teachers, we usually find two or three in such school when the authority goes for inspection.
“Often time, we wonder where are the education secretaries.who are suppose to supervise and inspect teachers on regular basis,” he said.
The governor admonished the Education Board in the state to put measures in place for a radical change in the ugly development.
He specifically requested a submission of report of quarterly performance evaluation of every head within the primary education system.
“I will like to receive this report on quarterly basis and any teacher that default would be dismissed, this time there would be no room for complacency,” he said.
The governor also expressed concern over the last recruitment conducted in the state in 2019.
He said it was disheartening and unfortunate that some of the candidates who paraded teaching certificates had nothing to offer.
Bello promised to institutionalise regular training in teaching profession in the state, stressing that “training and retraining of teachers is germaine to improving the quality of education”.
The governor also urged managers of Colleges of Education to look inward and ensure they produce quaulity teachers.
“When you find an NCE holder that cannot read what is written in the certificate that is paraded, there is something wrong.
“This is a situation we saw during the last recruitment exercise, but we ensure that we did not act on sentiment,” he said.
Bello urged the Niger State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB) to be more focussed in turning out quality teachers than in awarding contracts.
He stressed that “infrastructure is nothing, if there are no quality teachers”.
Also speaking, the Chairman of NSUBEB, Dr Isah Adamu said that the board would focus more on teachers’ training to enhance productivity and performances.
“Children are the central point that determines the prosperity of every nation, education is the key that can unlock the inherent potential in children.
“Learning is a major preparation that can make them productive and that is why we shall not resting on our oars in ensuring that we change the narrative of low performance in our public schools,” he said.
Adamu commended the governor for the training of over 10,000 teachers and education managers in the state.
“I want to assure that as a board, we are stepping up with a lot of programmes and activities by engaging all the critical stakeholders in the education sector to work in concert with us.
“I also want to commend the state government for approving the appointment of 2,600 teachers, this will indeed address the deficit of manpower we have in our schools. (NAN)