Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo State chapter, has described as unacceptable the plans by the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to embark on competency test for head teachers and prospective head teachers in public primary schools in the state.
While rejecting the proposal, the state NUT in a statement issued yesterday which was jointly signed by the state Chairman, Pius Okhueleigbe, and Assistant Secretary General, Mike Itua, said the union would resist any attempt by the Edo SUBEB to post junior officers to head schools over their colleagues.
The union called on well-meaning citizens of the state to prevail on the leadership of SUBEB to desist from such move because “it is aimed at inflicting injuries on the excellent relationship that exist between the state government and teachers in the state.”
The Edo NUT in its resolution at the end of an enlarged meeting asked all public primary schools substantive heads, acting heads and teachers to disregard any form of threat either from SUBEB leadership, agents and privies of the board.
According to the union, “All our members should brace up and be prepared for further action which may be deemed necessary and directed by the union should the relevant government board and agent refuse to positively address the issues raised in this communiqué not later than September 5, 2019. School head and acting heads are advised to continue to carry out their lawful assignments and must not handover to anybody as illegally directed by SUBEB.
“The union would resist any attempt by Edo SUBEB to post junior officers to head schools over and above their colleagues as headship should be strictly on seniority.”
The teachers noted that the leadership of Edo SUBEB has assumed the dimension of dictatorship and a sole administrator veiled with brazen intellectual and managerial arrogance; gross insensitivity to the plight of teachers, which now uses intimidation as a weapon to coerce teachers to do its biddings.
It said: ‘SUBEB under the leadership of Dr. Joan Oviawe has surreptitiously devised a competency test mechanism for the determination of who becomes a head of school in the state in contravention of an existing legal suit No. NICN/AK/10/2014 in the case of Nigeria Union of Teachers vs Edo State Government instituted at the National Industrial Court in Enugu; and the established service practice of school ‘Headship by Seniority’.”
NUT said the primary school teachers and their heads are still responsible for the provision of instructional materials like chalk, markers, diaries and others in the day-to-day teaching and learning process in all public primary schools in the state in spite of the fact that the executive chairman of SUBEB announced the approval of N60 million as termly subvention to schools since April of which no dime has been released to schools till now.
It added that by denying primary school teachers in Oredo and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas of the payment of their 2013 to 2015 promotion arrears, Edo SUBEB has refused to live up to one of its responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON) has advised the state SUBEB not to continue with the planned exercise in order to allow the prevailing peace in the education sector to continue to thrive.
The association in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Fidis Oigbochie, and Secretary, Aigberomwan Agho, said it remained resolute with the earlier decisions of the state wing executive council of NUT.
“We wish to inform all primary school teachers and head teachers in Edo State that the proposed exercise is a mischief-making one and an affront on the teaching profession in our state as well as a ploy to reintroduce competency test in education sector,” it