ByÂ Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Teachers in Bayelsa State have rated the performance of the 36 state governors and President Musa Yarâ€™Adua in the handling of industrial crises and strike embarked upon by their members and lecturers in the Nigerian university as abysmal.
They also lamented that the adoption of deceit in the implementation of numerous agreements reached will cripple education and slow down intellectual development.
Though the teachers said the rating of the Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, was above other state governors, in view of his implementation of the Teachers Salary Scale (TSS) and provision of some needed facilities in schools, they lamented that trust and focussed policy direction remained an issue that must be tackled head-on by the present administration.
The acting President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Chief Onem Nelson Onem, who made the observation on the occasion of this yearâ€™s Teachersâ€™ Day celebration in Yenagoa, said the past two years of the present administration have shown a level of disdain extended to the demand put forward by teachers in primary, post-primary and tertiary institutions.
Chief Onem, who described governmentâ€™s response to the issues as most unfortunate,Â said the only successful policy that could be adopted by President Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s administration for the education sector was continuous and sincere dialogue.
His words:Â Â â€œIt is even most disturbing that agreements reached between government and teachersâ€™ unions are often observed by government in the breach tantamount to insincerity and deceit, as it is the case with on-going strike in some states over non-implementation of the 27.5 per cent enhanced allowances to primary and secondary school teachers by the affected state governments.â€
He said the NUT will not be tired of calling the attention of the various levels of government to the deplorable conditions in schools, as teachers and students were the most affected.
In his speech, the Bayelsa State Chairman of the NUT, Comrade Alabo Erewari Christopher, said though the state government acceded to some of the demands of the union in the last two years, the various indices used in measuring general performance of the 36 states do not portray the administration of Chief Timipre Sylva as showing less commitment to achieving the goal of revamping the education sector.
He said the survey conducted by the NUT leadership showed that the state education sector was plagued by poor infrastructure, dearth of laboratories and libraries, poor teaching and learning environments, lack of teaching aids, shortage of teachers and poor remuneration to teachers.
â€œThe issue of poor commitment was even shown in the imposition of representative of teachers on the board of the State Primary School (SUBEB) and the non-representation of the NUT on the Senior Secondary School Board,â€ he lamented.
In her remark, the state Commissioner for Education, Chief Josephine Ezonbodor, said teachers in state should consider themselves lucky and should hold themselves in high esteem due to the excellent performance of the state government to the issue of their welfare and infrastructural development of schools in the state.
The commissioner, however, disagreed with the report of the survey released by the NUT, insisting that the state remained the only performing state in the 36 states of the federation.
â€œThe state government has done well in view of the numerous demands made by teachers.
The government has packaged programmes to reposition education in the state. The state governor has created a new hope for education in the state,â€ she said.