…want enhanced remuneration, incentives for teachers

Parents and other stakeholders in the education sector in Anambra state yesterday reacted sharply to the poor showing of pupils in the 2012 West African Examinations Councils (WAEC) school certificate results recently released by the body.

The result released by WAEC showed that nearly 60% of those that sat for the exam during the last May/June failed the English and Mathematics.

The Anambra state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Ifeanyi Ofodile blamed three basic issues for the ugly trend. These include poor infrastructure, inability to pay the necessary fees and some administrative challenges.

On way out , Ofodile, noting that the sector was not insulated from planlessness, lack of commitment and the general malaise that has become the lot of contemporary government/officials/offices at whatever levels in the country, said adequate replacement arrangement for retired, dead or teachers who now leave in droves may have contributed to the existing gap. He said that teachers were usually employed in batches hence retire in batches too.

The existing poor teaching and learning environment, teachers’ welfare and the failure to pay the necessary fees should be adequately tackled. The filling of the basic data which could lead to absence of result should be very well tackled. As a professional teacher, he noted that those who operate the Miracle Centres were not teachers but business men and quacks whose main interest was financial. Teaching job, he said should be left soley for professionals.

Mrs Chinyere Okonkwo, a university staff and housewife want the permanent closure of all existing Miracle Centres all over the nation, while the remuneration of teachers and their welfare should be enhanced. This, according to her would discourage the teaching staff from indulging in private business ventures when they should be in the classrooms teaching.

She noted that Miracle centres encourage use of mercenaries and hired hands to write exams whereas when properly screened they fail woefully. Intensive supervision of teachers should be embraced on.

The national Coordiantor of the Progress Forum for Anambra People, Hon Kanayo Igwenagu blamed the society for what he saw as very low standard of education in the country today. He said the sector has witnessed calamitous drop in the standard due to poor funding by the governments at all levels, lack of interest in the improvement of infrastructures and commitment of the operators including the teachers.

He therefore called for the return to the basics, intensified inspection, nipping of the proliferation of private schools that often were more interested in monetary returns instead of quality or standards.

Speaking as a parent, Igwenagu said that the return of schools to to original owners or even religious organizations without overhauling the sector would end up a mere lip service.

Ekene Anezeofor, an Awka-based civil servant insisted that all the so-called Miracle Centres must be closed down. The urgly trend he noted was the handiwork of the rich and affluent who arrange all manner of things for their wards so as to remain on top always. He also urged for the improvement of teachers’ salary.

Ikechukwu Ugwu, an engineer, said that more welfare packages and incentives should be explored for teachers. He suggested that all children of registered teachers should be given tuition free access to education from primary to university levels. He want teachers’ rewards to be here on earth instead of heaven as the usual saying goes.

He condemned a situation where those who laid the foundation for everyone’s progress from the cradle end up as the underdogs and dregs of the society.