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Akwa Ibom government denies alleged inflation of enrollment in public schools

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Assembly reinstates suspended Abak council chairman
The Akwa Ibom State government has debunked allegations that principals, heads of public secondary and primary schools in the state used to inflate students enrollment figures to get more subventions from government, describing such claims as unfounded.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Helen Ante, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner yesterday, said the state government does not rely on school heads for enrollment figures to avoid a hike, adding that it confirms the figures yearly through the list of admitted students.

She explained that the ministry was currently monitoring compliance level of teachers and students in schools attendance for the new academic year, saying the state government recently recruited 3,000 teachers, who have just resumed for the new school year.

“We don’t get the enrollment figures from schools because if you get it from them, the tendency is there for them to increase it. So, we know the number of enrollment in our schools.

“We do head count and confirm it every year, even of those who have been admitted in the schools this year through our placements. We go from school to school to do the head count so that we know those who have reported in the various schools.

“The allegation is baseless. We take statistics of both teachers and students in all the schools we visited to cross check with what we have, knowing that it is a new school year. Recently, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) recruited 3,000 teachers,” she stated.

There were speculations that public schools, especially in rural areas like Uruan and Oruk Anam council areas, among others, some principals and primary school heads inflate the number of students’ enrollment.

It was learnt that the heads of such schools do this to boost their chances of getting more funds from the subvention government pays per student in each public school across the state, in keeping with its free education policy.

Some aggrieved teachers had alleged that school heads compel them to mark inflated registers of students every day, set and mark examination papers and record results of the students, but give them no financial incentives for their work.

They claimed that the extra money the school heads get from the subventions on inflated school enrollment figure could have soothed their nerves owing to the increased work load and pressure they undergo because of the ghost students.

However, Commissioner of Education, Professor Nse Essien, said during inspection of schools in Uyo, the allegations were not true, as government gives subventions to school heads based on records of head count of students it receives from the State Secondary Education Board (SSEB), State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and State Technical School Board (STSB).

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly reinstated suspended Abak Council Area Chairman, Imoh Williams.

Speaker of the House, Aniekan Bassey, said during plenary that the reinstatement followed recommendations of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.


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