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Akwa Ibom vows to sack teachers over truancy, laxity in public schools

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Udom Emmanuel

Akwa Ibom State Government has vowed to disengage teachers for truancy and laxity in public schools, insisting that those who are determined to continue their service should show greater discipline and commitment.

Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Secondary Education Board (ASSEB), Dr. Ekaette Okon, gave the charge while speaking with journalists in Uyo, the state capital at the weekend.

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She said the state government had discovered that secondary school teachers posted to rural areas usually abscond from their duty post for up ton one year to engage in other businesses, while they continue to collect their salaries.

“We have to pursue teachers to do their work. I am not afraid to say that most people who take up teaching jobs refuse to do their work. They don’t go to school. They prefer to be posted to rural areas and hide there.

“They become traders in the market. Some of them don’t go to school for three to six months, yet they receive salaries,” she said.

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Although Okon declined to mention the schools involved, she confirmed that some teachers do not go to school for up to one year, but stay at home to receive salaries.

“Having gone round schools in the state for inspection, we discovered teachers who have not gone to school for a year.

“Therefore, it is not going to be business as usual, as we have improved on monitoring of schools. In the ASSEB, all members have been divided into groups for supervision and monitoring of schools across the three zones in the state to check teachers and students excesses that have become dangerous to learning.

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“Members of the board can pay an unscheduled visit to schools at least twice every week,” she added.

She stressed that teachers found wanting in the discharge of duties would be sacked, while others would be punished in line with Civil Service rules.

“We will query such teachers and apply other disciplinary actions against them including stopping their salaries. We will also demote school heads, who cannot control their teacher and redeploy them to education authority for their inactions.

“When we discover that a principal is not capable of controlling teachers under him, nothing stops us from demoting such principal. We want to ensure that school heads must deliver what they are being paid for, and if they think that the job is no longer good for them, they can quit,” she said.

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