Nigeria: Ekiti School Teachers Shun Rural Areas, Risk Sack

22 February 2021

The teachers often complain of difficult terrains and inaccessible villages for their actions

Teachers posted to rural communities in Ekiti State have been found to always refuse their postings, making it difficult to ensure effective education in the areas.

It was gathered that some of the teachers often work their postings back to areas of their choice afterwards, denying rural communities of adequate teachers.

The teachers are those hired under the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB).

The teachers often complain of difficult terrains and inaccessible villages for their actions.

They also cite poor incentives and lack of basic amenities as well.

But the state SUBEB said it would no longer tolerate such practice, warning that teachers would lose their jobs.

The agency stated on Monday it would, henceforth, direct public primary school teachers who are refusing postings to rural areas to tender their resignation.

It lamented the lopsidedness created by how teachers have been resisting postings to villages, thereby concentrating them in the cities at the expense of rural schools.

The agency also said the board would undertake redistribution policy to correct the imbalance.

The SUBEB Chair, Femi Akinwumi, spoke at Ikogosi, Ekiti West Local government area, while flagging off a five-day training programme for primary schools' Quality Assurance Officers held at the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort Centre.

Mr Akinwumi noted that the standard of education had improved considerably in the state since 2018.

"We don't have teachers in local areas while they are in surplus in our cities, particularly Ado Ekiti," he said.

"This lopsidedness is a major problem and we have to embark on teachers' redistribution. If we don't use radical approach, we won't go far.

"We have teachers that are sufficient in primary schools, but the question to ask is, have those teachers in the villages committed crime?

"The new policy now is, is either they honour the postings we are going to do or they tender their resignation.

"Some believe they can influence, but in this exercise, we are going to transfer those who thought they are untouchable."

Mr Akinwumi said productivity and efficiency were necessary ingredients for schools to perform, adding that quality assurance is required to enhance quality teaching, for good performances by pupils in external examinations .

"Ekiti has the best teachers-pupils ratio in Nigeria, which is 1 to 28. It is even 1 to 14 in our rural schools. With this, we have no reason why we should not have the best results in public examinations," he further noted.

"Quality assurance is the best way to achieve the best in any organisation. If we are doing much in all areas, but we can't monitor and ensure we are getting quality, then things will go wrong."

The Executive Secretary, <a target="_blank" href="http://ubec.gov.ng">Universal Basic Education Commission</a>, Hamid Boboyi, represented by the Southwest Zonal Director, P. A. Oyedokun, described quality assurance as the best way to strengthen education at the primary level, being the foundation of every academic pursuit.

"Effective school monitoring will boost the capacities and having these quality assurance officers will help in evaluating the performances of both pupils, teachers and schools in general, for better performances," he said.

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