By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”Edo State government yesterday commenced the merger of all the public schools in the 18 local government areas of the state, citing efficiency and the need to provide quality education to the people of the state as reasons for its action.
The state Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Ngozi Osarenren, who briefed newsmen on the issue, said that the purpose of the merger was to eliminate the practice of having more than one school heads running different schools in the same premises.
She described as unacceptable a situation where by â€œyou have school one and school two and they are being run by more than one school head.â€
Mrs. Osarenren added that the 607 public secondary schools across the 18 local government areas had been reduced to 295.
The commissioner, who gave a breakdown of the new figures of public secondary schools across the state following the merger, said the system now comprised 67 senior secondary schools; 140 junior secondary schools and 88 schools which comprised both the junior and senior secondary schools had emerged in the merger.
According to her, â€œthis list has already been submitted to the Chairman of the PPEB to enable him finalize the work the board had started because we have screened all the principals we have in the state up to level 16.
â€œWe are now going to do the posting of principals according to seniority not before now where you find a senior persons servicing under his junior.
â€œWe are now going to follow the seniority list and the suitability, these are the two key words that will drive the posting of principals and that is on-going. We have about 200 level 16 officers and they are principals.
â€œWe will start their posting but you will discover that unfortunately, some people may no longer be principals because the school had been collapsed.Â Secondly, we have to respect seniority because that has always been a serious motivating issue for some people, no body is happy working under his junior.
â€œWe want to have a workforce that will reflect the feeling of the government. We want to have a workforce that people will wake up in the morning and eager to go to work because you are doing what you ought to do. And you are given a position that is deserving of your experience and your qualification.â€