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Our 3,000 fake teachers

THE Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) is not ready to admit its failure in engaging more than 3,248 fake teachers under its scheme that was meant to improve the standard of education in our primary and junior secondary schools.

UBEC, three years after it had been wasting public funds recruiting teachers with fake certificates, UBEC is blaming the schools, the applicants, everyone, except itself. The UBEC scheme was an intervention to improve standards of teaching at primary and junior secondary schools.

With all the promises that the UBEC held, we had thought it could have laid the foundation for changing the country. Billions of naira committed to this issue did not produce any reasonable results. The only thing UBEC has become famous for is its decline to predictable corruption.

UBEC is a project founded on the same platform of a government that wanted to create more bureaucracies in order to assert its self-importance. UBEC did not have the capacity to engage in the tasks that its founders set before it, nor is it making any efforts to admit its limitations.

It first engaged 45,000 teachers, who were to serve for two years with state governments encouraged to retain them.

Another 29,000 teachers have been employed. The objectives of the programme remain noble, but UBEC cannot execute them with its present capacity that has resulted in untoward consequences for a sector that is already suffering from neglect and painlessness.

The discovery that at least 3,284 of these teachers were fake casts the scheme under serious bad light. Was it impossible for UBEC to have screened the applicants before employing them? What were the criteria used in selecting them, if a matter as simple as the fidelity of the certificates of applicants could not be ascertained.

Fake certificate holders abound in manyy areas of national life. In all instances, they are dangerous inclusions in the depleted structures of Nigeria’s standards for the future. The schools that issue these certificates are fairly well known.

There have been years of reports about the criminal rings that operate in almost all the higher institutions in Nigeria. The authorities have failed to stop the cries.

The frightening aspect of this discovery is that the future of our country is being truncated under our noses. When fake teachers pass on fake knowledge to our children, the result is almost predicable. The Federal Ministry of Education that would have been expected to show concerns about the most recent decay under its care is aloft.

UBEC is in deeper mire than it is willing to admit. Government thinks silence would cure the problem.

There is need for a better investigation of the factors that led into employing unqualified teachers for our children. By extention, it is time the Federal Ministry of Education did something about the operations of the criminal ring that awards certificates in higher institutions.

If the damage is halted now, our present and future are compromised.


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