Group alleges corrupt practices in Kogi agency
• it’s all lies, says STETSCOM chairman
The Kogi State Science, Technical Education and Teaching Service Commission, (STETSCOM) is presently embroiled in a “money-for – transfer” scandal.
A group, Kogi Renaissance had accused principals of secondary schools in Kogi East of allegedly bribing officials of STESTCOM, an agency in the Ministry of Education, to be transferred to schools with large enrollment.
Leader of the group, Abdullahi Mahdi, in a report made available to newsmen in Kogi, alleged that the development has led to indiscriminate redeployment of principals in the eastern part of the state.
But the agency, in a response by its chairperson, Mrs. Cecilia Cook denied the allegations, accusing the group of spreading lies to tarnish the image of the agency.
Mahdi, in the report alleged that the decision by the leadership of STESTCOM was not applicable to central and western senatorial districts.
The report alleged that the agency is deeply involved in sharp practices that led to unceremonious and frequent transfer of principals in the area from one school to another.
“What they do is principals of schools with low population allegedly bribe STESTCOM officials to be posted to schools with high population, not considering the duration of their earlier posting.
“A cartel is already formed in the agency for this erratic and new norm in the service.
“This ugly development is only prevalent in the eastern part of the state, excluding west and central parts and disrupt learning activities in the east.
“We hereby appeal to the Commissioner for Education and the authorities concerned to desist from such unprofessional conducts,” Madhi said.
But the agency, while denying the allegations of bribery for the redeployment of secondary school principals in the eastern part of the state said the move was just a normal civil service routine, reminding that the commission is empowered by law to transfer principals after every five years in a particular school.
She said: “It is government’s policy that one cannot remain a principal for five years without being transferred, but some people have spent up to 15 years as principals and they’re ‘Lord’ without any development. That’s why we did a screening exercise to ascertain the years they have spent and do the needful.
“Under the new education policy, any principal of a science secondary school must be science inclined, so as to add value to school administration, hence the recent redeployment of teachers, which is across all schools in the state, Cook added.
She said the era of an Art Teacher heading a science school is over, as the present administration is committed to doing the right thing for the betterment of education in the state.
Already, Cook said efforts are in top gear to recruit more teachers, while the commission is making moves to maximize those available for effective results.
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