[From INI BILLIE, Uyo]
Akwa Ibom Government has cautioned teachers in the state’s payroll against dereliction of duty.
Chairman of State Secondary Education Board (SSEB), Dr. Ekaette Okon, warned that principals and teachers who intentionally abandon their duty/duty posts would be demoted or sacked.
Speaking on Sunday in Uyo, Okon said government discovered during its schools monitoring exercise designed to evaluate teachers’ performances and check academic laxities in public schools that many teachers skip school.
Okon revealed that many secondary school teachers posted to rural areas in the state abandon their duty posts for as long as one year to engage in farming and trading activities, while still getting their monthly salaries from the government.
She stated that the government has had to practically pursue teachers to do their work, adding that most teachers in the employ of the state government prefer posting to schools in the rural areas to be free from the preying eyes of government’s monitoring team.
“We have to pursue teachers to do their work. I am not afraid to tell you that most people who take up government jobs as teachers refuse to do their work. They don’t go to school, they prefer to be posted to rural areas to hide there.
“They become traders in the market. Some of them don’t go to school for between three to six months, yet they are receiving salaries.
“Having gone round schools in the state for inspection, we discovered teachers who have not gone to school for a year. Therefore, it is not going to be business as usual, we have improved on school monitoring.
“In the State Secondary Education Board, all members have been divided into groups for supervision and monitoring of schools across the three zones in the state to check teachers and students excesses dangerous to learning. The Board members can pay unscheduled visit to schools at least twice every week,” she stated.
The Chairman said defaulting teachers would be punished according to the Civil Service rules and warned those already culpable to leave the job if they are unable to meet the conditions of service.
She said, “We would put such teachers under query and other disciplinary actions including stopping their salaries. We would also demote school Heads who cannot control their teacher, and deploy them back to the Education Authority for their inactions.
“When we discover that the principal is not competent to control teachers under him, nothing stops us from demoting him. You must deliver what you were employed for. If the job is not good for you, simply quit”.