#Editorial

Ondo Teachers’ Recruitment

ONE of the challenges of the educational system in Nigeria is the paucity of teachers at all levels. While most public schools lack adequate professional teachers, the private ones engage unqualified teachers most of the time. In public schools, there has been little effort from the government to recruit teachers to fill the void left by those retiring. According to the 2022-2023 UBEC National Personnel Audit report, there is a shortage of 194,876 teachers in public primary schools across the country. The report showed that only 499,202 out of the 694,078 teachers required at the primary school level are available. A similar sad tale is being told among tertiary institutions.

THE paucity of teachers in basic and secondary schools is linked to overcrowded classrooms, reduced individual attention for students, lower quality of education, increased workload and stress for existing teachers, and ultimately, a decline in academic performance and educational outcomes.

GIVEN this background, the recent directive of the Ondo State Government to recruit 2,000 teachers is applauded. Some days ago, Ondo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) initiated a recruitment process while the state Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) also initiated a similar process to recruit 1,000 teachers.The two agencies, in their respective statements, noted that prospective teachers to be recruited will be deployed to schools in rural areas, given the dearth of teachers in those areas. The agencies also noted that the new teachers will not have any opportunity to be redeployed from the areas they are posted until after five years.

WE commend the Ondo State government for this initiative and the directives attached. It has become a trend among teachers to abandon schools in the rural areas for those in the city. Teachers who could not get redeployed to the cities, especially Akure the state capital, jettison their duties at the expense of the children they are paid to train. This unpatriotic behaviour has not only significantly affected the educational outcomes of children in these underserved communities but has also dealt a big blow to the future ambitions of the children, leading to general low performance for Ondo State.

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WE  charge the state SUBEB, TESCOM and the Ministry of Education to ensure that those to be recruited are most qualified and worthy to be the destiny sharpeners for Ondo children. Anything short of quality teachers will not only affect the children but the productivity of the state in general. Equally, we charge the state government to strictly ensure the teachers recruited are deployed to the rural areas as stated in the recruitment policy and the five-year no redeployment clause is well implemented.

WE strongly urge government agencies responsible for recruitment exercises to prioritize Parents-Teachers’ Association (PTA) teachers who have been diligently serving, filling the gaps left by inadequate teachers in rural areas. These teachers have shown exceptional dedication to their profession and are committed to educating the children in their communities. Those who meet the necessary qualifications should be given preferential treatment in the recruitment processes. This ensures that passionate and qualified individuals are empowered to continue their vital role in providing quality education to underserved areas, ultimately contributing to the improvement of educational standards and opportunities for children in rural regions.

WHILE we commend Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa for prioritizing education in his developmental agenda for the state, we emphasize the necessity for ongoing recruitment of teachers into primary and secondary schools. This is crucial as existing teachers retire annually, creating vacancies that must be filled to maintain educational standards. Additionally, there has been a steady rise in student enrollment in public schools, particularly at the secondary level. It is essential to ensure sufficient recruitment of teachers to accommodate the growing number of students in these schools. This proactive approach will help to address staffing needs and uphold the quality of education provided to students across the state.

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WE cannot ignore the fact that receiving over 31,000 applicants for the SUBEB teachers’ recruitment alone within just one week underscores the severe unemployment crisis in Nigeria and the prevalent dependence on government jobs. It highlights the urgent need to prioritize industrialization efforts both at the state and national levels.

THE  government must intensify its efforts to attract investors and industrialists while ensuring that conducive business environments are created for those operating within the country. Initiatives such as tax incentives, improved electricity supply, infrastructure development, and other measures aimed at fostering industrialization and boosting local production need to be prioritized. We call upon all relevant stakeholders to collaborate with the government in generating job opportunities, as it is a collective responsibility which cannot be solely borne by the government.ply will force the price to go down.”

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