By Bukar Bolori
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, on Thursday, described as “very scary” some findings submitted to him by a Committee he had constituted and tasked with conducting basic literacy and numeracy competency assessment of 17,229 Local Education Authority teachers across 27 Local Government Areas of the State.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Engr Lawan Abba Wakilbe, presented the committee’s report to Governor Zulum at the Government House in Maiduguri.
The Committee had engaged academics from different education stakeholders in the State before and during assessment tests conducted in January, 2022, across the 27 Local Government Areas of the State.
The report revealed that out of 17,229 teachers across the 27 councils only 5,439 representing 31.6% proved competent to teach, while 3,815 teachers representing 22.1% are not competent to teach and are not trainable.
The report however revealed that 7,975 teachers representing 46.3% were found not fully competent but trainable.
The report also revealed that 2,389 teachers representing 13.9% have been teaching without any formal qualification from any institution.
A breakdown of the report’s findings across the 27 Local Government Areas showed, from the worst indices, that out of 224 teachers in Abadam Local Government Area in northern Borno, only 14 are competent to teach, as 74 are untrainable while 136 can be trained.
The report further said out of Kala-Balge’s 272 teachers, only 21 are competent to teach with 118 untrainable and 133 trainable.
The report also showed indices for other Local Government Areas from which Maiduguri Metropolitan Council had the highest number of 396 untrainable teachers, followed by Askira-Uba with 281 untrainable teachers, Chibok-268 untrainable teachers, Bama-246 untrainable teachers and Biu also with 219 teachers who cannot teach.
The numbers were based on the overall number of teachers as some with higher numbers of untrainable teachers have higher number of teachers employed.
Other Local Government Areas showed various numbers of untrainable teachers, Jere having the fewest-16 untrainable teachers out of 1,159 teachers from which 936 proved competent while 204 are not fully competent but they are trainable.
The report also said that of all the 17,229 teachers, 1,627 representing 9.4% are degree holders; 8,153 representing 47.3% are NCE holders; 713 representing 4.1% are teachers grade II certificates’ holders while 2,281 representing 13.2% are SSCE/GCE holders with the remaining 2,389 representing 13.9% not having any formal certificate.
Speaking after receiving the report, Professor Zulum described the findings as “very scary”. He said the Committee members had informed him that they came across an NCE holder who could not write NCE during the test but yet was teaching students.
Zulum said: “We cannot move Borno forward unless we are able to sanitize our public schools system and If I am able to sanitize education, I would have achieved 50% of what I set out to achieve as Governor.”
He noted that he decided to set up the Assessment Committee after series of spontaneous assessments of teachers during his regular unscheduled trips to Local Government Areas.
He however said despite the scary report, he will not sack the 3,815 untrainable teachers but he will, depending on the recommendations made by the Committee, consider approving the transfer of the teachers to areas where they can perform other tasks such as tree planting at the Ministry of Environment.