From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Edo State government has uncovered a subtle attempts by some politicians prevailing on it to reverse assessment test for public primary and secondary schools teachers in the State.
A move it stated was to secure popular support of workers for the ruling All progressives congress (APC) to retain power in 2016 Governorship election in the State through the ballot.
The State governor, Adams Oshiomhole dropped the hint at stakeholders meeting with market women and Civil society organisations to discuss competency test for the teachers.
“People have said to me, you know we are in politics and elections are coming, this is not the time to do anything that will make teachers unhappy and so on and so forth. Teachers are in every villages.
“Of course, for God sake, why should we seek power if our purpose is not for the good of the society? Why should I seek to be the Governor of the State if I do not have the liver or courage to make decisions that I’m convinced that if we do not take could mortgage our tomorrow’’, he said.
Teachers and the leadership of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo State chapter boycotted the meeting where stakeholders endorsed the assessment test for public primary and secondary school teachers having listened to the convincing speech delivered by the State governor.
Benson Odia, Executive Director, foundation of Edo youth for good governance and State President of SUBEB, tasked the State government to carryout total overhaul of the teachers training colleges across the State.
The Governor said no teacher will be victimised and vowed not to transfer the burden of incompetent workers to his successor.
He named Professor Dennis Agbonlahor, former Vice Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State as Chairman of the screening and assessment test committee.
Before announcing the replacement, the competency test with assessment test, Oshiomhole said the examinations will be conducted by West African Examinations council (WAEC) in conjunction with private Consultants.
He insisted that workers that had alterations in certificates were lesser in number among core Civil servants and in the health sector and assured that at the end of the test, those found wanting would either be sacked or retired.
A total of 626 teachers in public primary schools in the State do not have National Certificate on Education (NCE), while, 41 public secondary schools teachers were yet to get NCE certificate since 2006 stipulated period.
He explained further that the State universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has ceased to screen teachers due for employment in order to complement the supervisory roles being carried by his Special Assistants across the various local government Councils of the State.
Meanwhile, the State leadership of NUT, has directed teachers in the State to shun Wednesday Education summit called at the instance of the State Governor.