By Archibong Jeremiah
The Chairman, Cross River State branch of National Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Eyo Nsa has frowned at the process of teachers’ audit embarked upon by State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) calling it a ‘stinker’.
He barred his mind recently in an exclusive interview with CrossRiverWatch in the union’s Headquarters, Calabar.
His words: “It’s a stinker in the sense that the young man who is the Chairman ought to have called people, stakeholders for interaction. When the Commissioner of Education resumed, he called all relevant stakeholders to acclimatize and know how things work but this young man just came in and started his thing the way he likes. May be he had that (in mind) even before his appointment.
“His reasons are not enough to cause embarrassment to teachers, to cause them to be insulted, to be angry, to whip and not to be encouraged because those teachers he collected certificates from may be somehow demoralized. Not that we are against the screening but we are against the process”.
The State NUT Chairman added that, “The new SUBEB leadership just went on the audit without involving the union, we had an understanding with the former Board that when such time approaches we should be involved to enable us create an enabling ground for both the teachers and SUBEB.
“What is obtainable now is that the Chairman is seizing people’s certificates, calling them fake, the Chairman has no right to collect people’s original certificates, if he suspects a certificate he should collect the photocopy and investigate, the teachers are still in the system and any teacher found wanting should be handled as a criminal”.
Expressing his dismay further, Nsa maintained that, “He has now labelled some teachers fake certificate holders, some certificates are fake but embarrassing somebody that any certificate that comes from College of Education is fake, from outside the State is fake is not palatable.
“The SUBEB Chairman ought to be a father, he ought to make sure he conducted the interview in a conducive manner, there are lots of complaints, he almost had a face-off with one of my Vice Chairman which is not good. Looking at the administration of Senator Ben Ayade, he’s really trying and we are also trying to encourage him, we don’t want a single individual to single himself to heat the polity because if we want to take it the way we ought to, there’s bound to be chaos which won’t be palatable for the sector”.
He also condemned the act of mortgaging credentials for loan by some teachers saying such teachers have mortgaged their lives, “I try to make them understand the importance of leaving within their means, if they want loan go to the bank”.
“We have formed NUT Multipurpose Cooperative, we are still waiting for primary school teachers to key in. I know everybody has issues but teachers should try not to embarrass themselves. I also discovered that so many teachers are perpetual debtors, anywhere they know loan facilities are given there, they will rush to that place. I know a teacher who earns over a hundred thousand and she goes home with less than thirty thousand because of loans”.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Miss. Uchino Amatey told CrossRiverWatch that it was not true that the Board was not carrying stakeholders along in the screening exercise.
According to her “We are carrying everyone along, NUT officials in areas we have conducted the exercise supported us, the exercise is for the betterment of the State”.
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