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Kwara Govt. sacks over 2,000 teachers, begins fresh recruitment

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Kwara State Government has terminated the employment of 2,414 teachers employed by the previous administration over alleged irregularities in the recruitment exercise and approved a fresh recruitment exercise across the state.

It said that the employment made over a year ago was filled with persons that did not have the prerequisite skill to teach and impact knowledge on the students

Through a statement by the Press Secretary for Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Yakub Ali-Agan, the government argued that the irregularities in the recruitment exercise done by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) were discovered by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after their investigation.

During the investigation, it was further discovered that the total number of employed teachers was at variance with the number of personnel approved for employment by former Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who had authorised the employment of 1,100 qualified teachers to take English Language, Mathematics, and Science subjects only.

Due to the sharp contrast, the incumbent governor was reported to have been with conflicting claims on these workers, magnanimously authorized the screening of all of them, after which 1,658 were cleared as qualified.

The government said: “Surprisingly, an additional 594 got inserted into the payroll. There are claims that 162 more were part of the mix. This was discovered during EFCC investigation of the untidy process that kept throwing up conflicting figures of employees and mind-boggling details of how non-qualified persons were engaged.

“For instance, it was discovered that several of the 1,658 purportedly adjudged to be qualified do not in fact have required teaching certificates. It was discovered that teachers were engaged for subjects not covered in the executive approval, underscoring the unwholesome and impeachable nature of the entire process.

“Flowing from the above, the government has decided to start the employment process all over again in January 2021. The government will open a new application portal for all the 2,414 and any other eligible persons to apply for SUBEB teaching jobs in relevant subjects to be advertised. This effectively nullifies the controversial employment process of 2018/2019.

This new process will be largely technology-driven, and needs-based, while every applicant will go through rigorous screenings.

·This painful yet necessary decision is built on justice and fairness to everyone, particularly taxpayers and our children whose future depends on the quality of teaching they receive at the elementary schools. It is the right thing to be done in the interest of our education sector which has suffered from years of unhealthy practices as those mentioned above.

“On compassionate grounds, the 594 persons whose salaries were withheld since June 2020 have now had the same paid to them immediately while they — and their colleagues covered in the whole process — may reapply to teach relevant subjects when the portal goes live in January 2021.”

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