Akwa Ibom state government may be boasting of having employed a lot of teachers for its secondary schools, but a recent revelation by a member of the state house of assembly has shown a yawning gap between the number of students in the schools, compared with the available teachers.
The situation is worse in some of the rural local governments. Chairman of the Assembly committee on education, Mr Samuel Ufuo raised the alarm at a meeting between the committee and members of state secondary education board and state technical school board respectively, at the Assembly complex.
In some of the schools, the statistics showed despicable figures. For instance, there is a school where 13 teachers are assigned to teach about 1,100 students.
Ufuo, while addressing the meeting condemned the attitude of most stakeholders in the education sector who have deviated from the ethics and responsibilities of contributing immensely to advancement of the education in the State in accordance with the sustained free and compulsory education policy of the present administration.
Statistically, the lawmaker presented a case of three randomly selected local government areas which clearly buttressed the lopsidedness in posting of more teachers to urban settlements than the rural areas irrespective of students' numerical strength in those places.
The statistics goes thus in some select public secondary Schools in Uyo local government area:
Number of Students Number of Teachers
Statistics of some randomly select public Secondary Schools in Mbo Local Government Area.
Number of Students Numbers of Teachers
Statistics of some randomly select public Secondary Schools in Mkpat Enin
Number of Students Number of Teachers
Ufuo while questioning on unit(s) responsible for posting of teachers in the state observed that premium was given to urban schools against their rural counterparts and advised on fair treatment to all manner of persons and institutions irrespective of who is involved and location of a particular school.
Specifically addressing managers of State Technical School Board, the lawmaker urged them to collaborate and lobby Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Committee for intervention towards infrastructural renaissance in the eight technical schools across the state, as some schools were lying moribund due to nonchalant nature of managers.
On his part, the Chairman State Secondary Education Board Mr. Umanah Umanah while illuminating grey areas in posting of teachers, informed the committee that teachers were usually distributed according to areas of need, adding that posting of teachers was solely the responsibility of directorate of school services.
He further said that since the civil service rule did not state specific service period of a teacher at a particular station, teachers could be reposted in and out at any given period of time when higher need arises.
Umanah however, pledged his commitment and that of his board members in correcting all the anomalies surrounding public Secondary schools and called for re-empowerment to enhance effective delivery of their duties.
Similarly, the chairman, State Technical School Board, Dr. Charity Ido reasoned that technical students upon graduation were meant to become self reliance and employers of labour, which is not the case presently in the state due to non functionality of most government technical schools across the state.
Ido enumerated major challenges of the eight current technical schools in the state to include; lack of teachers especially in English and mathematics, lack of functional workshops and equipments, lack of training materials in the entire State, lack of infrastructure (boarding facility), lack of physics, biology and chemistry laboratories, lack of security-men.She called on the government through the committee to assist in revitalising Government Technical Schools in the State for the benefit of Akwa Ibom children in this present technology compliance world, even as she reiterated her resolved to take technical schools to an enviable height in Akwa Ibom State.