Obiano’s Incentives has Solved Problem of Lack of Teachers in Rural Areas – Prof Omenugha

By Emeka Ozumba 
Prof Kate Omenugha, Anambra State Commissioner for Basic Education
Prof Kate Omenugha, Anambra State Commissioner for Basic Education

Faced with the challenge of attrition of teaching staff in schools located in hard-to-reach communities of Anambra State, Governor Willie Obiano devised a policy of incentives that include payment of 20% of their salary to teachers posted to rural areas. The initiative was aimed at encouraging them to stay and impart knowledge and ensure that the state education policy of “no child will be left behind is achieved.” This assertion was made by the state Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof Kate Omenugha at a recent Meet-The-Media session held Tuesday in Awka Anambra State.

Prof Omenugha stated that the incentives have worked over the period of six years and have stemmed the urban drift by teachers who run away from far-flung communities due to lack of basic amenities thereby denying children opportunities for proper teaching and learning.

Prof Omenugha explained that the policy having been in place for six years is now up for review and fine-tuning. In her words:

“Let me say that for about six years now we have run this policy. A policy that teachers in the hard- to -reach -areas will be given 20 percent of their salaries as incentives. We are at the moment reworking the renumeration to accommodate more areas. Sometime as a Government we need to appraise our actions and see how the things we are doing can be improved on".

L-R:James Eze (Chief Press Secretary to the Governor), Prof Kate Omenugha (Anambra State Commissioner for Basic Education), Emeka Ozumba (Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Governor)

Omenugha stated that the policy of incentives has helped the state to retain teachers in those areas and is being retained with some review.

“What we are doing now is to remove certain places that are really not hard to reach. All the riverine areas and other deep lying agrarian communities in parts of the state will get on board. We are trying to get more people who really deserve the incentives. It has helped us to retain our teachers in those areas so it is a policy we are retaining.” She affirmed.

Continuing, Omenugha said the Obiano administration also rewards teachers who teach subjects like Mathematics, Igbo and sciences with 20% addition to their salaries as incentive to encourage and sustain the teaching and learning of the subjects.