...as teach­ers com­plain of sag­ging morale

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION -

The sit­u­a­tion in LEA 2 Pri­mary School was much bet­ter than quite a few schools lo­cated in Kachia lo­cal gov­ern­ment area. A good num­ber of the schools vis­ited in the Kachia area were run­ning with their build­ings either par­tially or crit­i­cally dam­aged, pos­ing se­ri­ous dan­ger to pupils.

The UBE Pri­mary School in Un­guwar Sheka­rau, Kachia town, had a to­tal of four tem­po­rary class­rooms made of sun dried mud bricks by the com­mu­nity. The school runs six classes out of which two classes con­duct lessons in open spa­ces. There were ap­par­ently no plas­ter works on both the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior parts of the walls and the floors were not ce­mented. The pupils sit on bare floors while in few classes; wood planks were ar­ranged for the pupils to sit on. The classes were small and have no pro­vi­sion for win­dows; they do not meet the build­ing re­quire­ment of hab­it­able rooms.

The school head­mistress Mrs. Aishatu G. Mo­hammed said there were 178 pupils in the school with class 1 hav­ing the lion’s share of 98 pupils. Class 6 pupils usu­ally take lessons out­side and they have to join an­other class and cram to­gether when the weather gets hot or when it rains, she said.

Though teach­ers have been viewed as cen­tral to both the prob­lems of ed­u­ca­tion and their so­lu­tions, most of the teach­ers in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties of the state were either badly paid or ex­pe­ri­ence pre­ventable de­lays in the pay­ment of salaries. State and the lo­cal gov­ern­ments faced the chal­lenge of mo­ti­vat­ing teach­ers to high lev­els of per­for­mance.

Mrs. Mo­hammed said the gov­ern­ment re­cently con­ducted a bio­met­ric ver­i­fi­ca­tion ex­er­cise for all its em­ploy­ees with the aim of de­tect­ing phony work­ers but since the con­clu­sion of the ex­er­cise, many teach­ers have not re­ceived their salaries with­out any ex­pla­na­tions from the gov­ern­ment. “I haven’t re­ceived my salaries for three months now and I have never been late to work. I and other teach­ers fac­ing sim­i­lar prob­lems went to the ed­u­ca­tion author­ity of­fice in Kachia where we tabled our com­plaints and we were told to go to the head of­fice in Kaduna. In Kaduna, we were asked to come back to Kachia with our com­plaints and we did, yet we have not re­ceived our salaries.

“I come to work ev­ery day to en­sure that I give my best to the pupils. I have chil­dren like any other par­ent and I want to cater for them too. I am tired of the empty prom­ises by the author­i­ties. In fact, last week when I re­ceived an SMS on my mobile phone at mid­night from the author­i­ties, I thought my salaries were paid only to see that it was an in­struc­tion ask­ing us not to hold morn­ing as­sem­blies. I told the par­ents and the com­mu­nity lead­ers that if by the end of the month I did not re­ceive my salaries, I will sim­ply stop work.”

The state ed­u­ca­tion com­mis­sioner, Dr. Shehu Us­man Adamu re­cently un­veiled the screen­ing ex­er­cise of con­trac­tors who ap­plied to pro­vide fur­ni­ture, books and other teach­ing ma­te­ri­als in schools.

The gov­ern­ment had promised to ad­dress is­sues on schools equip­ment de­fi­cien­cies.

Class­rooms at UBE Pri­mary School in Un­guwar Sheka­rau, Kachia

Chalk-board in­side the class­room

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