Kogi solicits parents’ help to improve education
• Lists plans for teachers, others
Kogi State has urged parents to join government in rebuilding public schools to return them to their pride of place where quality education would be bequeathed to their children.
Chairman of the Kogi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Mallam Nuhu Ahmed who spoke against the backdrop of the non payment of teachers salary for months, said the administration has brought new energy to the system and salaries of teachers are now paid as at when due.
Ahmed debunked the allegation of 15% deduction of teachers’ salaries at source adding that he has commenced quality control measurement that would allow for censorship of teachers, advising parents to bring back their children from the ramshackle private schools that are only exploiting them.
The SUBEB chief said that the task of sensitizing parents to help government rebuild the public schools is another is a sine-qua-non. “Let them bring back their children, we are distributing books freely.
Abuja brought two trailer loads of books which are in our stores, we want to distribute them, but who do we distribute to?” The chairman indicated that Kogi State Government is providing textbooks and other study aids free of charge for public schools; to encourage parents to help us build back the public schools.
“You will find out that some of the so called private schools are in ramshackle environment and some of their teachers are not qualified and yet they take their children there. “Many of the teachers are paid N3000, N5000 but we pay teachers over N27000. When they bring back their children they would not regret.”
According to Ahmed government has done survey of some schools that are almost empty even as he appealed to the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) to jettison the planned strike action because such has had a lot of bad effect on the standards of education. Ahmed, who is just four months old on the saddle, charged the teachers to also contribute to the growth of public education.
On the alleged 15% being deducted at SUBEB he wondered who was doing the deduction, saying that it was not true, but a mere fabrication.
Ahmed, who said the allegation was not fair to SUBEB and to the State Government, revealed that the only deduction is for PAYEE and Union, which is for the Nigerian Union of Teachers and Pay as you Earn.
“They take 3% and that is statutory from the Federal level. You can get to NUT and investigate and we can show the January, February and March voucher to show you that we never deducted any money.”
He explained that when he came on board he promised that he was going to put in his own contribution to the development of basic education in three phases. According to him in the First Phase he will ensure all teachers in all the nooks and crannies of the state gets their salaries and allowances every month as at when due.
Ahmed said they are trying as the board to improve conditions of workers and in this direction; the board has been able to pay January, February and March salaries, adding that earlier challenges were man made by the teachers themselves.
“We have asked them to go and validate, upgrade their bank account numbers, they have refused to comply. I can show you documents here that I took to Abuja on this issue.
Many of teachers could not even write their account numbers properly. We have tried correcting them, these are the challenges and they are getting solved gradually.”
He said many have now gone to their banks to update their accounts. “After salary the next one is quality assurance. Who is a teacher? This is because we want to return schools to the old glory of education.
The chairman indicated that the board would engage in intensive training of teachers by improvising some strategies to detect those that are really teachers and those that are not. “
Some of them come to my office and when asked to put on paper their complaint in writing they will disappear. This is why there is urgent need for quality control and that is how we are going to jointly with the teachers overcome the problems here.”