By Mary Obaebor
Oyo State government has started the oral interview exercise for some 7,000 applicants who scored 50 percent and above in the Computer Based Test (CBT) conducted by the state’s Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM).
The Chairman of TESCOM, Pastor Akinade Alamu, who briefed newsmen on the sidelines of the interview sessions, said successful candidates would receive their letters of appointment before the end of November.
Alamu, who said the exercise started about seven months ago before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state, following an approval given by Governor Seyi Makinde to recruit teachers, added that teaching and non-teaching staff would be recruited into the service of the state.
He said: “When we complete the exercise for those we are interviewing, they will resume work before the end of November.
“I am delighted with the exercise. We started about seven months ago when the governor gave the approval to recruit seven thousand teachers and about 3,000 non-teaching staff. People applied, uploaded their credentials and we conducted the test for 67,000 applicants.
“The results came out and 10 per cent of those people succeeded in scoring 50 per cent and above. So, this is why we are starting the interview of about 7,000 applicants, which include the physically challenged.”
According to Alamu, the general public had been commending the Makinde-led administration over the steps taken so far on the recruitment exercise.
He added: “Generally speaking, people are satisfied with what we have done so far and everything has been transparent since we started. There might be pressure here and there but we will never succumb. We know what the governor wants and that is what we are doing. We know he is passionate about education and merit and we have to watch what he wants and comply accordingly.
“Apart from the fact that we have our names to protect, what the Oyo State government wants is what we must do and abide by. So, we expect criticism here and there, but we are not guilty of any allegation and have nothing to fear.”
The TESCOM boss further stated that teachers under the Parent Teachers Association (P.T.A), who have been interviewed, would be taken into consideration based on their performances.
“The existing PTA teachers before this administration came in were employed from various sources we don’t know. We don’t know their qualifications and competence. But we requested that they apply and come for an interview. Once we know they are qualified and competent, we will take into consideration the fact that they have served, and this will give them the advantage. But we won’t be able to access the capability of someone who did not apply,” he said.
Speaking further, he explained why the commission will not consider applicants that scored below 50 per cent in the last Computer Based Test, noting that over 6,000 applicants scored 50 per cent and above and that if the commission lowers that bar to 45 per cent, it would have about 10,000 applicants to interview for 7,000 openings.
The TESCOM boss noted that the interview exercise for the non-teaching applicants will commence immediately after the ongoing interview for teaching staff applicants, adding that about 900 of the non-teaching staff, who have acquired additional qualifications and have applied to be converted to teaching staff, would be recruited along with the new teaching staff.