Stakeholders Accuse Anambra Govt Of Extorting Teachers, Schools | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Stakeholders Accuse Anambra Govt Of Extorting Teachers, Schools

Posted: Jul 7, 2015 at 7:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chukwujekwu Ilozue



The Anambra State Government has been accused of exploiting and extorting teachers in the state.

The accusation was levelled by stakeholders in the state’s education sector during the quarterly meeting of Justice, Development and Peace/Caritas (JDPC) of Catholic Diocese of Onitsha held in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state last week.

Traditional rulers, town union Presidents-General, stakeholders in education who attended the meeting have called on Governor Willie Obiano to look into the allegations and address them.

The state government had introduced a policy that it would supply laptops to primary school teachers in the state as part of the state’s efforts at making the schools information communications technology (ICT) compliant.

However, the policy is causing ripples as stakeholders in the education sector accuse the government of extortion. The primary school teachers complained that the state government had allegedly forced them to buy laptops at the cost of N90, 000.00 each, which they say is exorbitant.

They also said they were not given the option of buying the laptops on their own, even as they said they had been forced to sign consent forms to have the cost of the laptops deducted from their salary at the rate of N5, 000.00 every month.

They said the Anambra state government forced every primary school in the state to buy a whiteboard also to be supplied by the government.

The stakeholders said that a whiteboard cost between N7, 000 and N8, 000 in the market, whereas the state government sold theirs at N18, 000.00.

Another complaint is the bush allowance to primary school teachers posted to rural areas; implementation of which they said is discriminatory. According to them, teachers from the areas where officials of Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) came from had been paid their allowances which was introduced to encourage teachers to take their posting to rural areas, while teachers “who have nobody” to speak for them were let out and are made to fill forms and face other bureaucracies.

In a communique issued after the meeting, the stakeholders observed that laptops are teaching instruments and are supposed to be provided to the teachers or at worse to schools by the government free of charge.

They recalled that in the previous dispensation, computers and generating sets were provided for schools free of charge and computer laboratories were also built for schools while instructors were trained to teach them.

They lamented that even where the teachers have laptops already, they were told that “they must buy the one being provided by the government”.

The stakeholders urged government to have a second look at its policy on computer to teachers as well as provide them free and also train the teachers to use them.

The communiqué read in part: “It is unfair to ask teachers to pay for laptops which they will use to teach the children. The UBE has enough money to run any programme it wants in primary schools, what prevents government from supplying the laptops to everybody?

“Even if teachers are to pay for the computers, it cannot be N90, 000.00. The price of laptops is cheaper in the market”.

The meeting called the government policy on whiteboards as clear extortion, arguing that the World Bank disbursed N250, 000.00 to primary schools to assist them run the schools and that forcing primary schools to buy white marker boards is another way of taking the money provided by the World Bank from the schools.

The forum also asked government to pay bush allowances to all teachers posted to rural areas and not discriminate.

An official of JDPC who presided over the meeting, Mr. Uche Madubuko said the role of JDPC is to build understanding among different segments of the society and promote accountability in government, among other things.