BAYELSA TEACHERS BEMOAN ROT IN EDUCATION
Teachers in Bayelsa State are worried over the palpable collapse in the basic junior secondary and primary education due to non-provision of infrastructural facilities and materials. The teachers, through the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) led by Chief Christopher Erewari noted that the collapse of the education system in Bayelsa was imminent because the government had paid lip service to their agitation.
According to him, several letters of protest had been written to the state government on NUT 's observations on the state of education and to their shock, government had demonstrated lack of commitment to tackle the education challenges.
Erewari,who was speaking to a cross section of teachers at the celebration of the Teachers Day in Yenagoa, explained that the celebration was a mournful and regrettable one for the state following the alarming discovery that the entire educational system including the Basic Junior Secondary and Primary sub-sectors were on the verge of total collapse.
'The continued refusal of the government to open its doors for dialogue with a view to stemming the imminent collapse of the sectors is very disturbing and poses a great challenge to the development of the system,' he added.
While listing non-implementation of 2009 and 2010 annual increment for primary school teachers and seizure of NECO/WAEC results of students from Bayelsa among other numerous unresolved issues as a minus in the education sector, Erewari maintained that the current agitation by teachers was to enhance service delivery in the sector.
He said 'the non implementation of the state educational policy, non conduction of 2010 first school leaving certificate and Junior Secondary School Examinations and non compliance with the UNESCO recommendation to allocate 26 per cent of the state's annual budget to education were worrisome.
'It is most disgusting that the government has not been opening her doors to enable the NUT dialogue with her with a view to addressing the above teething problems. This situation is unfortunate. We once again call on the state government to honour the agreements earlier reached with the NUT by paying up all promotion arrears owed teachers since 2007 to date, conduct fresh promotion interviews for both secondary and primary school teachers due 2010.'
However, the state government has assured that it would continue to improve on its achievement in the educational sector and called on the teachers to avail themselves to training to meet up with the new challenges. Governor Timipre Sylva who stressed the importance of re-training for teachers promised that his administration would look at all the issues raised by the teachers and address them. He declared that the much desired recovery Nigeria and Bayelsa state needs would not be realized if the education sector is in shambles.