Wednesday, 13 March 2013

(NEWS): Enugu headteachers run schools with N600 per term


Dr. Simon Ortuanya











More than one year after the Enugu State commissioner for education, Dr. Simon Ortuanya disclosed that primary schools would be receiving N25, 000 (twenty five thousand naira) as subvention per term, investigation by DailyPost has shown than no school has received such money.
This is despite the increased budgetary allocation to education in the state between 2012 and the recently passed 2013 appropriation law of the state.
The commissioner had told journalists in January last year that all primary school heads in the state would be receiving the subvention to enable them attend to critical needs of their schools.
According to him: “On the part of the headmasters, instead of N600 or N1000, per month, government has now said they will be receiving N25, 000 subvention every term. With this, they can buy chalk, repair leaking roof, and solve other things without putting pressure on the pupils”.
One year after, investigation has shown that headmasters are still running the schools with their meager salaries.
A headmaster in one of the schools visited said despite all promises by the state government, the situation has not improved.
The headmaster lamented that apart from N600 and N920 in some cases, primary schools are not receiving any other subvention from government.
One of the school heads who spoke to our correspondent said: “they don’t provide any other thing like chalk, chalkboard, tables, seats, registers and other teaching aids.
“We use our money to buy all those things. It is really a difficult situation for us because the pupils are not allowed to pay any money, yet government does not want to provide us with basic things.
“To make sure that we retain our pupils, the teachers also contribute money; tell me what you can use N920 to do in a term. It is so bad for us here”.
Further checks showed that some school heads are not even receiving up to N920 per term.
A headmaster in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of the state alleged that unlike their counterparts, they receive N600 (six hundred naira) per term.
“It is so bad that government should be living in deceit, they have been giving us political promises; they stopped us from collecting levies from pupils yet they can’t fulfill their promises. They told us about this N25, 000 subvention since 2011, but up till now, nobody has collected such money even for a term.
“We have no option than to use our salaries because if the pupils run away to private schools, we will lose our jobs. We collect N600, some N920, while the highest get N1000 per term “, lamented one of the school heads.
In another development, primary schools in the state may soon be hit by mass exodus of teachers.
DailyPost gathered that volunteer teachers employed by the state government one year ago are threatening to withdraw their services over alleged non-payment of their salary.
The teachers were at the Enugu State Primary Education Board, ENSPEB, on Monday where they showed their anger.
One of the teachers lamented that several appeals they have made to relevant authorities have not yielded any positive result.
“They are taking us for a ride; you can’t imagine working for more than one year now without pay; last year they said we would be paid after data capturing, but several months after, nothing has changed.

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