SINCE the Osun State Government announced plans to employ 2,500 new teachers into the state Ministry of Education as part of measures to increase workforce in the state secondary schools and primary education, the decision has provoked serious concerns, questioning why the recruitment should be monetised.
Each of the prospective employees is required to pay indirectly by purchasing a pin to access the job website at a sum of N3,000.
But the state government claimed its inability to shoulder the cost of engaging best hands for the vacant positions.
It says the proposed teachers would have to be graduates of English Language, Mathematics and Science, Humanities and Social Sciences.
The ICIR also gathered that the candidates are expected to own Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE), and while 1,000 of the recruits would be fixed in primary schools, 1,500 would be engaged in secondary schools across the states.
As at the time of filing this report, the actual figure of interested candidates remained unknown while the offer is still ongoing.
“The governor of the state of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, has approved in council, the immediate recruitment of teachers into the public basic and post-basic schools in the state,” an advert placed by the state education ministry showed.
“Consequently upon this, the state’s ministry of education hereby invites applications from suitably qualified candidates to its existing vacancies in the disciplines outlined below – English Language, Mathematics and Science, Humanities and Social Sciences.”
The advert further encouraged interested candidates to “register online through osun.com.ng after a login pin has been purchased from the ministry of education, state secretariat, Oshogbo.”
The advert was signed in February by S.F Olajide, Permanent Secretary of the state education ministry.
But The ICIR went further to ascertain the N3000 claim.
Ismaila Omipidan, Oyetola’s Chief Press Secretary was contacted but he referred the reporter to Folorunso Bamisayemi, the state Commissioner for Education.
Yes, we charge the sum because State is in distress, we need the best
Bamisayemi who later spoke with The ICIR in a phone interview affirmed the fixed sum. He said since the outbreak of the Coronavirus virus, the global oil price has been affected which could also affect the nation’s revenue, and by extension, the 36 states, as monthly allocation to states would be affected.
“Not just ours, every state in the country because Nigeria will earn less from oil, so if the country is earning less, that means Osun will still earn lesser as well in spite of our huge debt.”
He further shared insights on how the state had been in a dearth of English and Science teachers including teachers for primary school pupils.
The assessment, he noted, would be Computer Based Test (CBT).
He added that it is to be conducted by the Joint Admission Matriculation Examination (JAMB) at designated locations with supports from an Information Communication Technology (ICT) consultant and the state ministry of education.
“It is true because we will do a screening test, and we must get the best and the brightest,” Bamisayemi said.
“Substantial percentage of this (teachers) will go to English and the science subjects. It will be need-based. So, that’s why we have very serious shortages. We have acute shortages in English, chemistry and mathematics.”
“The state is in distress. Government cannot fund it. Even when the state was buoyant in 2013, the form went for N2,500 and the substantial part of that went to JAMB. They conducted the screening tests.”
“This time around, they are conducting the screening test for us. They will take a substantial part of that N3000. And 70 per cent will go to JAMB, then it is one thing is to know the subject, it is another to be able to communicate the subject across to the students.”
Speaking on other activities aligned with the assessment, the commissioner revealed that shortlisted candidates who scaled through the yet-to-be-determined cut-off would as well be engaged in micro-teaching to measure the ability of candidates to articulate their knowledge.
This, he said, would be supervised by retired principals, teachers and headmasters.
However, he insisted the gesture was not to inflict hardship on the unemployed youths stressing that, “a dime of the money is not going into the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“We are not that wicked,” he added.
It could be recalled that in 2013, similar recruitment was done in the state and the form was sold for N2, 500.
“Eight years after, the form went for N3,000. Considering inflation and the value of money now, you can see the difference. So I can assure you, a dime is not going into the government cover or anybody’s private purse.”
I am not aware of such an arrangement – JAMB
The ICIR reached out to JAMB through Fabian Benjamin, the body’s spokesperson but he said he was unaware of the arrangement.
Benjamin, who appeared ignorant of the development further asked if it was Osun State government. He wondered the kind of service JAMB would render, the amount involved and the level of partnership.
“Honestly, I don’t have that information. I’m not even aware we are doing anything of such with the Osun State government in that regard. So I don’t know,” Benjamin said.
“I am no saying what the government is saying is untrue but I don’t have the information. I don’t now to what extent we are partnering with them, what kind of service are we rendering? How much are they paying? I don’t know.”