By Teryima Andrew
Plateau state government, through the chairman Plateau state Universal Basic Education Board (PSUBE) Professor Mathew Sule on Thursday said there are plans to convert the 5000 ad-hoc primary school teachers into permanent teachers.
The said 5000 teachers, according to PSUBEB chairman, were earlier engaged on temporary basis, he said the move was part of measures to fill in the gap, following recent retirement of 747 primary school teachers.
“With the retirement of the 747 teachers from service, we will need more teachers in the public primary school sector, we (PSUBEB) have sent a memo asking the approval of the governor to allow us permanent the appointments of some teachers among the 5000 ad-hoc teaching staff.”
The PSUBEB boss made the disclosure, in an interview with Journalists at board’s Secretariat in Jos, in his office; Prof Sule also explained that the 747 teachers were not “sacked” as it was reported in some section of the media, he revealed that the affected former teachers were retired from service with full retirement benefits due them.
“They were not sacked, but retired, because, some of them had taught for over 30 years and above, though without requisite qualification, so government in it magnanimity has retired them.”
Prof Sule stressed the need for urgent replacement of the disengaged teaching staff in public primary schools.
“Plateau state has a total of 2420 number of public primary schools, with 536,850 pupils, among them, 257,80 girls. The UNESCO standard is 40 pupils to a teacher, hence the need for more teachers to fill this vacuum. The 5000 ad-hoc teachers I mentioned earlier are profesional and qualified NCE certificate holders with certified credentials and experience.”
He added that “we have 401 teachers that we have screened worthy to be engaged to teach, a total of 148 others are currently been verified for reabsorption, the teachers are among over 2000 primary teachers that were dismissed by the previous administration before the coming on board of governor Simon Lalong.”
The educationist said the present administration has passion for standard education.
“The administration of His Excellency Rt Hon, Barr. Simon Bako Lalong, had since assumption of office placed premium priority in education. As a result, enrollment into public primary schools has increased tremendously, there are statistics of parents withdrawing their children from private to public primary schools, due our current standard.”
Speaking on further efforts by government in ensuring qualitative education in the elementary sector Sule informed that “so far government have renovated a total of 407 classroom blocks, 293 during the first phase, in the ongoing second phase, we have 114 classroom blocks in the three geopolitical zones of Plateau state already been used.”
On the welfare of primary school teachers, the chairman Plateau state Universal Basic Education noted that
“Goveror Simon Lalong is an educational friendly governor, as I speak with you, we are not owning any teacher monthly salaries, infact, salaries of teachers are considered first, before other civil servants.” Sule explained.