The Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) says no fewer than 79 primary schools have one teacher each in Misau local council. But an official in the state’s education sector said the situation is better compared to other local government areas in the state.
Some of the schools, according to a Punch report, have more than 600 pupils.
Korijo Usman, Director, School Services, for SUBEB in Bauchi disclosed this while answering questions from journalists during a media dialogue organized by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on the enrollment drive of out-of-school children in Misau and Alkaleri LGAs.
The educational worker, while speaking at Central Primary School, Misau LGA, said the local council is lucky to have such a number of teachers compared to other local government areas including the state capital.
According to him, many schools suffer a dearth of teachers as some schools have only a single teacher teaching all subjects to all pupils.
“In Misau, there are 79 schools that have only one teacher each while there are zero schools with no teacher. All the schools have teachers except that they are not adequate,” he said.
BETTER THAN OTHER LGAS?
Usman emphasised that Misau’s situation is better compared to other local areas.
“Misau is even better compared to others. Go to some other schools and see the situation there. So, what we do is to find out where they are congested and we ask them to redeploy and post them to other places,” he revealed. “And that is what we told them from SUBEB that if they see a school with many teachers, they should move to two or three other schools depending on the number there.”
Speaking on the teacher/students ratio, Usman said: “Here in this school (Misau Central Primary School), they have 1,726 pupils with 24 teachers. If you do the calculation you’ll see that the minimum standard of teacher and pupil ratio is 45 and you’ll find out that we don’t have it in Nigeria. In this school, there is a ratio of 72 teachers per class.”
According to him, the situation is worrisome in the state capital.
His words: “If you go to the Bauchi metropolis, you’ll see that there are classes with even 150 or 200, even 220 and 250 pupils with only a teacher. So their own here is even better because you can see that they have 72 per class, theirs is better compared to Bauchi Local Government Area.
“There are other schools that have not even up to 1,000 pupils but they have over 30 teachers and most of them are women.”
Corroborating what the Director said, the Education Secretary for Misau Local Government Education Authority, Alhaji Abdu, said there are some primary schools in the local government with over 600 pupils, but have only seven teachers, noting that the situation at Misau Central Primary School is better than many schools in the LGA.
“The teachers we have here in this school, we manage them like that. I can tell you that this school is one of the schools that have many teachers, we have some schools that have over 600 pupils with just seven teachers,” he said. “I tell you that if you go to some schools, you’ll be very surprised. In this school, we have enough teachers compared to many others here in Misau Local Government Area. What we do is to collaborate with the SBMC to see that we have volunteers.”
On what the SUBEB is doing to address the situation, the director only said their major duties are to supervise and deploy employed teachers to schools.
“SUBEB does not employ teachers. What we do is to only post teachers to schools. The Teachers Service Commission is saddled with the responsibility of employing teachers in collaboration with SUBEB. We, SUBEB, act as supervisors. After that (teachers’ employment), they post the names to us and we then verify them.
“When they give us the names, we will verify them to see those who jumped through the window, maybe the certificate is not correct, or it is not his certificate or other reasons. We then remove those names and tell them to replace the names with other employees,” he explained.
WikkiTimes gathered that a total of 37 pupils, made up of 20 males and 17 females out-of-school children were enrolled at the Central Primary School, Misau, following the introduction of a new system called ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ by SUBEB and UNICEF.