By Kehinde Oluwatayo
Teachers in Ondo State have described the allegation levelled against them by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Special Duties, Dr Doyin Odebowale that they were using pupils in their private farms as untrue and called on the public to disregard it.
Odebowale had alleged that some teachers in the state particularly in the rural areas were using pupils to work in their private farms under the guise of doing agricultural practicals while female ones cook for them.
He had warned that government would not hesitate to prosecute any teacher found abusing the children.
Reacting to the allegation, the state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Victor Amoko described it as false and should be disregarded.
According to him, it is not possible for any teacher to send any pupil on errand considering the recent closing time of the school now.
“Everybody knows that it was only in yesteryears that school closes by 2pm but now an average student closes by 5pm. Is it possible for a teacher to send a child to his house or farm to work at that time again.
“In this jet age, it is impossible to send pupils to work in the farm considering that they are too young. Even some of their parents can not send them on errand”, he said.
Amoko noted that teachers volunteered to do online teaching during coronavirus pandemic without any compensation noting that they should be appreciated.
“The only way to make people do more is to appreciate them and if you can not appreciate someone who is working, there is no need for condemning him”.
Also, chairman of Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, Comrade Tajudeen Balogun described the accusation as unfounded and not correct.
He said there is no time for such frivolous activities now that teachers are faced with heavy volumes of work caused by accumulation because of COVID-19 forced holiday.
“In those days, each student would have his portion in agricultural practical, but now students are taken to the farm and are taught little things they need to know. Some schools do not even have farms especially private schools.