Applicants scramble for teaching forms in Akwa Ibom
•Retirement fever grips lecturers of higher institutions in Delta
Thousands of applicants thronged designated centres across Akwa Ibom State to collect application forms following the state government’s announcement of vacancies for primary school teachers.
The government had in the last week of April directed the State Primary School Board to employ 3,000 teachers with National Certificate for Education (NCE) and designated centers in the three senatorial districts of the state for collection of application forms.
When The Guardian visited the two centers in Uyo —West Itam Secondary School and Aka Community High School- applicants were sighted in their large numbers scrambling for the forms.
At the Aka Community Secondary School, mothers with their babies and scores of youths seeking employment stood in the sun for several hours in an attempt to collect the forms.
“We came here since 8am, but the officials from the state ministry of education did not come until 10am,’’ a lady who had a baby said. Another lady who identified herself as Grace said she could not stand her daughter being injured while trying to collect the forms, adding that she decided to go home after struggling all day in vain.
She said some ladies who came for the forms had slumped after a long wait, adding that it was easier for the men to struggle for the forms. The woman who said she had her NCE since 2009 disclosed that she has remained unemployed ever since she completed the teachers training programme at the state college of education.
The exercise, which started with the collection of the forms yesterday, was to have lasted for three days. Efforts to speak with the officials handling the exercise were not successful as the applicants blocked all entrances to the hall.
The state government had announced last year that it would employ 5,000 teachers for secondary schools but the process is yet to be concluded. The recruitment of primary school teachers was the first in over seven years since vacancies in primary schools were filled.
Meanwhile, retirement fever has gripped lecturers at the Delta State owned higher institutions following the discovery that most of the lecturers have clocked 60 years and were still in service.
The schools include the colleges of education in Warri, Agbor and Mosogar and the polytechnics in Ozoro, Ogwashi-Uku and Otefe-Oghara where a recent state audit of the lecturers indicated that some of the lecturers have attained 60 years.
It was gathered that the names of lecturers who are 60 years and above have been removed from the state payroll on government’s instruction. But Chairman of the state Civil Service Commission, Mrs. Patience Okwuofu said the affected lecturers names were removed not because they had attained 60 but was as a measure to fish out ghost workers, including those who falsified their age records.