…says sanctions must apply to Principals, teachers, Corp Members and N-Power staff

One of the schools visited by the monitoring team

By Kpebo Thomas

To enforce Governor Udom Emmanuel’s assertion at the September 5 , 2019 education summit held at Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio hall, Uyo, that erring Heads of Schools and teachers will be sanctioned, Office of the Governor, Education Monitoring led by Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet, embarked on a fact finding visit to public schools in the state.

On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, a total of seven schools – two primary and five secondary schools were visited in Abak, Essien Udim and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas.

In Abak Local Government Area, the monitoring team was not impressed at Secondary Commercial School, Ikot Etuk Udo, as the team met only two teachers, Mr. Imeobong Monday Abijah and Mr. Patrick Okpong, in the school premises from assembly hours till 8:15am.

Out of thirty-nine permanent teachers in the school, twenty-two teachers reported to school late, including the school Principal, Mrs. Ime I. Udontah, who excused that she paid the Paramount Ruler a visit, regarding school materials that were stolen by unknown hoodlums.

The school, which has a total of fifteen N-Power Staff had only three present in school. A total of fifteen permanent teachers, twelve N-power staff were absent from school.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Education Monitoring, Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet, frowned at the lackadaisical attitude of Teachers towards their work, which they receive salaries from the State Government, even before the end of the month.

She questioned how their zero concern to work will impact on the students to pass WAEC, which the State government pay for.

Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet addressing the staff of one of the schools visited

Mrs Etiebiet also asked the Principal, Mrs. Ime I. Udontah to query herself, teachers that reported late, and absentees.

The Commissioner for Education, represented by Mrs. Theresa Attih condemned the dress code of most teachers, adding that “Teachers who do not dress properly will not produce students that will dress properly”.

The State Chairman of Parents’ Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Elder Ime Ataideh pleaded with the Teachers, as role models to send out only good conducts that should be emulated by the students.

He stressed that “students imitate what they see faster, and teaching the Students to report to school late and to dress improperly is not a good remark”.

The Principal, Mrs Ime I. Udontah, thanked the monitoring team for visiting unannounced, adding that the words of advice will help teachers and students to sit up.

At St. Micheals Catholic School, Ibong Ikot Ebuk, Otoro Abak, classes were ongoing, but the School Head Mistress, Mrs. Adama Willie Akpan who was absent from the school premises later arrived, excusing that she was out in the interest of the School to submit some documents.

The SSA insisted that the Head Mistress would have done submission of the documents at the close of school, and asked the Head Mistress to query herself and two staff that were absent from school.

On arrival at Community High School, Afaha Obong, classes were ongoing and the school environment was serene. However, after taking attendance, the Principal of the School was asked to query teachers that reported late and those that were absent.

She was also asked to query the twenty-seven, out of the twenty-eight N-power staff of the school that were completely absent, and the sixteen teachers that left the school premises before closure.

The School Principal complained that “the N-power staff are not committed. They chose to come or not come to school because they say they are Federal Staff”.

Mrs. Etiebet replied that “adequate sanctions must and will apply to N-power staff and even Corp members, because as teachers posted to schools, they must submit to the ethics of the teaching profession and to the authority of the Ministry of Education and the school”.

In Essien Udim LGA, the monitoring team was impressed at Comprehensive Secondary School, Ikpe Annang, as classes went on in an environment that was neat, serene and calm for teaching and learning.

The Principal, Mrs. Annah Nse Uko, complained that “N-power staff are unserious and do not comply with the authorities of the school”.

The Principal was asked to query six permanent teachers, and eight out of the nine N-power staff of the school that were absent.

At Independent High School, Ukana, the monitoring team met the absence of the School Principal, Mrs. Imaobong Iboette.

On marking attendance by Mrs. Etiebiet, it was discovered that five permanent teachers were absent, one permanent teacher and two N-power staff left the premises before closure.

She instructed that the School Principal, thirty three teachers who reported to school late and absentees should be queried.

The Commissioner for Education, represented by Barr. Theresa Attih condemned the act where teachers sign timebook for record purposes and leave the school premises, without even signing the movement book.

The Chairman of NAPTAN, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Elder Ime Ataideh advised teachers to dress properly and be of good conduct for the students to emulate.

He said “students who have their teachers dress casually will also fly their shirts and wear slippers to school”.

In Ikot Ekpene LGA, the monitoring team frowned at the number of pupils in Methodist School, Nsiak, that were seen involved in compound work during school hours.

The Head Master, Mr. Godwin N. Etuk said that “it is not usual, but the pupils were asked to fill the entrance of the school with sand, to keep water off the school compound”.

Mrs. Etiebet cautioned that “school hours are for class activities. Any period used for compound work means that a teacher is not in class as at when due”.

At State College, Ikot Ekpene, the monitoring team was impressed as classes were ongoing in a calm environment.

The school Principal, Mrs Lucina Udoh, lamented that out of hundred corp members, only thirty five were present in school. She added that “Corp members prove stubborn to the school authority due to their large number”.

Mrs. Etiebet asked that seventeen permanent teachers who reported to school late, N-power staff, teachers and corp members that were absent from school should be queried.

The Commissioner for Education, represented by Mrs. Attih commended the Principal for the discipline the team had seen, and charged the school authority to put more effort to realize high percent pass in the forthcoming WAEC examinations.