Nearly half the total number of teachers receiving salaries was discovered absent after the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, paid an unscheduled visit last Wednesday and took roll call of teachers at Lamisula Primary and Junior Secondary School in Maiduguri, the state capital.
The school has a total number of 87 teachers but after Shettima’s roll call, 43 teachers were absent out which seven persons were on leave approved for them.
Shettima has regularly embarked upon unscheduled visits to assess infrastructural and facility needs of schools and to supervise renovation works being carried out in many schools across the state.
The governor took teachers by surprise when he suddenly ordered his convoy to the school and directed the state’s Head of Service, Yakubu Bukar, who was in his convoy, to call out names of teachers in order to identify those absent.
Despite frantic efforts by some teachers who kept inviting their colleagues to quickly come to the school, 38 teachers, representing 44.6 percent (approximately 45 percent) were recorded absent.
The governor also ordered the state mechanical workshop to convey desks to the school as pupils were found siting on the bare floor.
“It is really disturbing that in the heart of Maiduguri, our children are siting on the floor to learn despite thousands of school desks we have distributed. We have desks here that are bad and kept in one class, no one brought this to my attention and children who are desirous of learning are now seated on the floor.
“Even when the pupils are here siting on the floor, more than 40 percent% of teachers are absent. Those absent will face punishment to serve as deterrent to other teachers and workers,” Shettima said in anger.
THISDAY reported that the governor spent nearly one hour in the school visiting each of the 17 classrooms at the primary and junior secondary levels during which he interacted with nearly 1,000 pupils and gave each a gift, before his departure.