Abuja - Traditional leaders in Edo State have thrown their weight behind plans by the State Government to conduct a competency test for teachers in the area.
Participants at the town hall meeting, held at the Imaguero College Hall, Benin City were of the view that government’s investment in the rebuilding of schools would go to waste if there were no competent teachers to handle the pupils.
Among stakeholders that attended include traditional rulers, non-governmental organizations, clergy, civil society groups and traders among others.
The Onojie of Opoji, His Royal Highness, Ehidiamen 1, said the government should not compromise in sanitizing the education sector in the state.
He noted that education is the fulcrum of development in any society, and urged the governor to flush out unqualified teachers from the system in the interest of the pupils, stressing that true union leaders would not support unqualified teachers.
The traditional ruler also commended the governor for initiating the competency test to assess the suitability of teachers in the state.
“I do not see why a teacher should be afraid to face simple assessment. Those who are not qualified to teach our children should be thrown out of the system. I think you are doing the right thing and need our support,” he said.
The Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, also endorsed the competency test.
“We fully endorse all you are doing in regard to the competency test. What the governor has been saying is in the interest of the people. He has the right to protect the interest of the Edo people. So far you have not done anything wrong in this enterprise. After the incident of the lady who couldn’t read her own affidavit, what has the NUT done to do an in-house cleaning to weed out incompetent teachers from its midst. Teachers are not the only people who voted for Adams Oshiomhole, we, the parents of the students they teach also voted for the Governor and the future of our children is of great concern to us, and the Governor has the right to protect our interest,” Edebiri said.
The Isekhure of Benin Kingdom, Nosakhare Isekhure, said the competency test had become inevitable because of the rot in the school system but suggested the formation of a local supporting committee that would monitor the activities of the schools and report to the ministry.
Other speakers at the event agreed that there was need to overhaul the inspectorate division of the Ministry of Education, adding that the state government should put in place stringent measures to prevent saboteurs from subverting the exercise.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole informed the stakeholders of government’s efforts to reposition the education sector.
“Schools have been built across the three senatorial districts and government has been making the right investment on the physical infrastructure. Basic education is the right of the child hence the Federal Government’s law on the Universal Basic Education is not only free but compulsory.
Over the past five years, outside road and erosion control, the highest allocation have consistently gone to education, and over the years, in our recurrent expenditure at state and local levels, the highest allocation has gone to the education sector,” he said.
– CAJ News
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