AKWA IBOM LAWMAKER MAKES CASE FOR GOVT PRIMARY SCHOOL WITH TWO TEACHERS

Hon. Ifiokobong Asuquo, honourable councillor representing Northern Uruan ward 1

By Roseline Etukudo

It was heartbreaking and revealing on the floor of Uruan Legislative Chambers, Tuesday, 13th of April, 2021 when the honourable councillor representing Northern Uruan ward 1 in the 7th Legislative Council, Hon. Ifiokobong Asuquo raised a matter of urgent public Importance on a limited number of teachers at St John’s Primary School, Ikpa Uruan in Uruan Local Government Area if Akwa Ibom State.

In a motion titled ” Need for immediate deployment of teachers to St John’s Primary School, Ikpa Uruan in Uruan LGA”, Hon. Ifiokobong bemoaned the situation in the school whereby only 2 teachers were allegedly teaching and mentoring more than 100 pupils and wondered how possible it is for them to successfully teach pupils in the 6 streams in the school

“The reality staring us on our faces is that our little children, our brothers, and sisters at Ikpa Primary School are denied the privileges enjoyed by pupils in other primary schools in the state. They do not have the needed security from the watchful eyes of their class teachers while in school or having their notes checked regularly by them” Hon. Asuquo maintained.

He called on the Government of Akwa Ibom State and relevant authorities to immediately deploy teachers to the school for effective and impactful academic activities especially as schools in the state resumes for a new term.

As of the time of this report,
It was established that Primary School Ikpa Uruan has only 2 classroom teachers and a headteacher making 3 adult teachers in the entire school of more than a hundred pupils

Master Ubong, a pupil of the school when asked by the press crew about his school, responded in Ibibio
” Aunty, some days you will come to school and only one subject is taught. At times the teacher will park two to three classes in a classroom and teach”

further investigation and findings revealed that St Pauls RCM School Ikot Udo in Northern Uruan and St Thomas RCM School Ekpene Ukim in Southern Uruan also have 2 classroom teachers and a headteacher respectively.

A teacher in one of the affected schools who did not want her name mentioned said ” it has not been easy for us. I always go back home with headaches. For only 2 of us to teach over 100 pupils is by God’s grace. We have tried our best as humans the rest is left for the government to send more teachers to the school if they want this free and compulsory education to be effective” in line with the emergency on education declared by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Speaking further, the teacher said ” we are only here because we refused to go to Uyo and work our transfer out of here to schools in town. If you go to some primary schools in town, you will see excess teachers in primary schools, with some doing nothing. she opined.

While the three Primary Schools have only 2 classroom teachers to teach more than 100 pupils respectively, further analysis revealed that St Andrews African School in Idu, the headquarters of Uruan LGA is allegedly having 14 teachers

As at press time, neither of the Headteachers from the affected schools was available to speak on the shortfall in staff strength of their respective schools.

Recently the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Obong Paul Ekpo led members of his board on an on-the-spot inspection of Primary Schools in the state. He expressed the need to increase the number of teachers for maximum and effective service delivery.

Worthy of note is that this revelation comes at a time when the Government of Akwa Ibom State has concluded plans to employ 1000 primary school teachers.

The Akwa Ibom State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) should as a matter of urgent importance ensure the deployment of more teachers to schools with lesser personnel strength.

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