From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
The apex body of all Igbo socio cultural organizations, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appealed to both politicians, businessmen and others to put in place measures that will increase enrolment in public schools in Enugu State.
The President of Enugu State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Fred Eze, made the appeal in his address delivered at a one day education summit organised by the group in Enugu last week.
He expressed concern that despite the huge investments in education lby Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, most of the schools in the state still experience poor enrollment.
His words: “It is disheartening to note that despite the huge investments made by Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration in the primary and secondary schools in Enugu state, the enrolment figures at this level are abysmally low.
“In the rural areas, it is common to find schools with about six or seven pupils in a class with a total population of less than sixty pupils from elementary one to six. What is happening is that the majority of the pupils are in makeshift private schools in uncompleted structures and shatties, operated by unqualified auxiliary teachers superintending their education. Ohanaeze Ndigbo,Enugu state chapter finds this unacceptable and is hereby striving to reverse it”.
He called on traditional rulers and town union executives to take up the responsibility of supervising schools in their domains, monitoring the teachers and making necessary reports to appropriate authorities even as he advocated for retraining of teachers for optimum performance.
In their respective contribution, Comrade F. O Nnaji and Mr Jeff Nwachinemere, both involved in the Enugu state education system, said that non-payment of minimum wage to primary school teachers in the state constitute part of the non challant attitude of teachers in public schools.
They also criticised the policy of making the National Certificate of Education (NCE) the least minimum qualification of teaching in primary schools, arguing that teachers who attended Teachers Training Colleges (TTC) are more grounded with general subjects meant for pupils than NCE holders,who are specialized in one or two subjects.