In spite of the irregular academic calendar of public schools, owing to incessant strikes, the quality of the teachers and level of instruction is still better, compared to what obtains in private schools, so says the Executive Secretary, Kogi State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Justina Dolapo Abanida.
Abanida in an interview with newsmen in Lokoja, recently, cautioned parents against the dangers of being over confident in private schools, at the expense of public schools, as many have no qualified teachers.
“I must say the federal and state government are doing a lot having invested so much into basic education in a wider range. Textbooks are given to pupils free of charge in primary and junior secondary school.
“All our teachers are trained annually and we even pay them while on training. For three weeks in November, we would commence training of teachers and we are training in the three senatorial districts. While doing this, we give them money for transportation whereas the private schools don’t train their teachers.”
She explained that private schools don’t have the financial resources to do so adding that in terms of the quality of teachers, public schools still have the best of them.
“That is why people prefer to take their wards to universities like UI, IFE, ABU, University of Ilorin and the rest. Why don’t they go to private universities?”
Abanida who stressed that there is no basis for comparison between the public schools and the private ones, in terms of the quality of teachers, and the quality of education offered, warned heads of public schools in the state against sales of instructional materials to pupils and JSS students.
She disclosed that all instructional materials at the basic education level were provided free of charge by government, and must be given to pupils and JSS students at no cost.
Both the federal and state governments have invested a lot in providing instructional materials and other supports for basic education development in the state. So, anyone caught charging fees for such materials would be arrested and prosecuted, the SUSEB boss stated.
On the payment of teachers’ salaries in percentages, Abanida said government was tackling the menace of “ghost teachers and ghost schools” through its verification exercise to ensure that genuine teachers in the state get their full payments.
“We have a complex ghost worker issue at the primary schools level, especially in the remote areas, where non existing primary schools are collecting salaries. So, it is a complex one that has gone so deeply into the financial stability of the state, Abanida lamented.
She said the board was doing everything possible to boost the enrollment of pupils and students across public primary and junior secondary schools respectively.
“We are using the education secretaries at the local government levels to sensitise the people in the remote communities. We are also using village headmasters to enlighten the people to enroll their children in schools”, she said.
She, therefore, urged parents to take advantage of the free and compulsory education in the state and enroll their children in order for them to acquire education, and be self dependent in the future.
Credits: John Akubo | The GuardianShare this on WhatsApp