Stakeholders decry teachers’ shortage in Ebonyi

ABAKALIKI (Sundiata Scholar) – Regarding the state’s public primary schools, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and other education stakeholders in Ebonyi have voiced concerns about what they see as a decline in quality.

In order to attain quality education, they urged the State Government to address the shortage of teachers, infrastructure, and teacher well-being.

During a one-day roundtable on Thursday in Abakiliki, the stakeholders—among them civil society organisations (CSOs)—gave the recommendations for improving the state’s basic education system.

The NUT coordinated the programme alongside the state Ministry of Education, CSOs, and the Technology for Transformative Development Foundation (TTDF).

The goal of the programme, according to Mr. Ewah Eleri, Chief Executive Officer of the non-governmental organisation, is to refine concepts that will advance basic education in the state.

The program’s convener, Eleri, urged an overhaul of Ebonyi’s basic education in order to achieve better results and stated that education is essential to the development of a nation.

He thanked the State Government for allowing them to host the programme and called for everyone to pitch in to help the state’s educational system.

On infrastructure development, he said that over 80 per cent of primary schools were deficient in the areas of learning materials, teachers, classrooms and desks, among others.

“The children study under trees in many of the schools.

“Some sit on bare floors and some without the necessary books.

“Many schools around the state exist without toilets.

“About 75.2 per cent of schools make use of bush for defecation, while 11.9 per cent use ‘shit and bury’ methods,” Eleri said.

In a speech, the Commissioner for Education (Primary & Secondary), Prof. Paul Nwobashi, described the programme as a welcome development.

“It is a good programme coming at a period, we have the Governor, Francis Nwifuru, who has placed education as his top most priority.

“It is also worrisome that the number of out-of-school children in the state is bigger than the one in school.

“The present government has taken it up and I believe we are moving forward,” Nwobashi said.

Also, the state Chairman of NUT, Mr Francis Elechi, said that the issue of teachers’ shortage, learning materials and teachers’ welfare were major challenges facing the state’s basic education.

According to Elechi, our classrooms are empty because there is acute shortage of teachers in our schools.

Mrs Ugo Nnachi, who spoke on behalf of the CSOs, said that there was need for an improvement in the state’s basic education system.

“Yes, goverment cannot do it alone, it needs the support of the CSOs and NGOs to move our education forward.

“There is a need for the recruitment of teachers and improved infrastructure for learning,” Nnachi said.