Ekiti condemns officials who sack teachers illegally

Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State Governor

Ekiti State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Foluso Daramola, has frowned at the reports reaching him from the Local Governments Areas, which claimed that some individuals have turned themselves into overlords, assuming absolute powers to query, transfer, and even fire teachers at will, without recourse to their respective regulatory agencies.

He made it clear that there are rules and regulations guiding the work of civil servants, which everyone should be familiar with.

This is as he stressed the need for Area Education Officers (AEOs) and Education Secretaries to work in synergy across the sixteen LGAs of the State, to achieve the desired objectives of the present administration, in the education sector.

The Commissioner, who stated his stand in Ado-Ekiti during an interactive meeting with Area Education Officers and Education Secretaries, urged the two categories of officers to see themselves as partners in progress, rather than rival groups working for different organizations.

He said that the National Policy on Education was clear on the specific roles of individuals in the national education project.

Mr Daramola stressed that Area Education Officers and Education Secretaries were critical stakeholders in the implementation of government policies and programmes in the education sector, hence the need for them to work as a team, to ensure that such programmes were effectively implemented.

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He also disclosed that investigations were ongoing, to ascertain the complicity of some officers and union leaders in the crisis that scuttled the recent elections of the Ekiti State Wing of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT).

He disclosed that any official found culpable in the crisis, would be sanctioned by the State Government.

He added, that the Fayemi-led administration has a track record of not interfering in the internal affairs of labour unions .

Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, Mr James Owolabi, said that there was no overlapping of functions or duties of the officers, as their functions were clearly spelt out in their letters of engagement, in line with the provisions of the National Policy on Education.

He reminded them of the need to sensitise the schools on the Coronavirus epidemic and and to distribute materials sent through the Ministry effectively

The Permanent Secretary of the State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), Mr Olusesan Fabamise, stressed that the AEOs of the Ministry of Education and SUBEB Education Secretaries, have their core mandates clearly defined in the Public Service Rules and SUBEB Act, hence there was no reason for conflict of roles.

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He emphasised that they only needed to complement each other in the discharge of their duties, by making cooperation, understanding, and sincerity of purpose, their watchwords.

In his remarks, the Education Secretary of Ijero Local Government Area, who is also the Chairman of Education Secretaries in the State, Mr. Adewale Egbeyemi, stressed that contrary to insinuations in certain quarters, there were no misgivings amongst the AEOs and the Education Secretaries in the State. Egbeyemi however called for an improvement in the channels of communication, to enhance the free flow of information and early communication of Government directives between the AEOs and Education Secretaries on the field.

In her response, the Dean of Area Education Officers in Ekiti State, who is also Area Education Officer for Ado 1, Mrs Animasaun, disclosed that issues bordering on ensuring that new pupils were not enrolled into Primary 6 and other certificate classes, was one area of contention with the Education Secretaries.

Mrs Animasaun said that though the Education Secretaries had the mandate of increasing enrollment in public schools in the State, her office also had the mandate of ensuring that no new pupil or student be allowed to enroll into Primary 6, JSS 3, and SS3, which were classified as certificate classes.

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She announced that all pupils in both public and private school in the State, must use the same curriculum and books approved by the Ministry of Education.

Present at the meeting were Directors of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, their counterparts from the State Universal Basic Education Board, as well as AEOs and Education Secretaries from the 16 Local Government Areas in the State.

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