Why only 32 per cent of Borno teachers earn minimum wage – Govt

THE Borno State Government has restated its decision to retain 11,790 unqualified teachers in its service.  

Instead of sacking them, the government will deploy the teachers to other ministries where they will plant trees and do other jobs.

The government said the decision was to check the rising level of unemployment in the state.

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However, only 5,439 qualified teachers, representing 31.6 per cent of the total 17,229 teachers in the state, would receive the N30,000 minimum wage.

Similar payments for the unqualified teachers are on hold pending the government’s decision.

Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser on Public Relations and Strategy to the state Governor Babagana Zulum, stated these in reaction to complaints by teachers over poor pay in some local government areas in the state.

In a post on the governor’s Facebook Page on Monday, Gusau gave reasons for “screenshots shared on social media platforms, showing credit alerts of some LEA teachers’ salaries from an LGA with less than N10,000 as salaries”.

In the post titled, ‘Scandalous salaries: Zulum confirmed some LEA teachers get less than N11,000, Gusau explains’, Gusau directed readers to check The ICIR’s report published in October 2021, with the headline, “Borno teachers earn as low as N11,000 monthly, says Governor,” for a proper understanding of the issues.

Among other issues, Zulum, a professor, decried the poor salaries received by the state’s teachers in the report. 

He blamed the poor salaries on ghost workers and a large population of unqualified teachers in the state’s schools.

In his Monday post, Gasau explained that nearly 69 per cent of teachers in the state are unqualified.

He also quoted the governor as confirming the disparity in the salaries of employees on the state government’s payroll and those employed by the 27 local government areas in the state. 

Gusau said to prepare LEA (Local Education Authority) for the national minimum wage, Zulum had constituted a committee to conduct basic literacy and numeracy tests and competency assessment on the state’s 17,229 LEA teachers.

“On February 17, 2022, the state Commissioner of Education, Engr. Lawan Abba Wakilbe, a highly experienced, competent and hard-working educationist, who chaired the committee, presented what Zulum later described as a scary report.

“The committee found that out of 17,229 existing LEA teachers, a total of 11,790 representing 69 per cent of the entire LEA teachers, were found unqualified to teach.”

He went on: “2,389 of the LEA teachers had no academic qualification whatsoever, not even secondary school certificates.

“In fact, 3,815 of the LEA teachers were found to be untrainable.

    “Only 5,439 teachers (31.6 per cent) were good enough to teach, out of the 17,229 teachers assessed by the committee.”

    According to him, with the committee’s report, the governor had the option of sacking the 11,790 unqualified teachers. 

    Gusau noted that the governor could have used their salaries to implement the national minimum wage for the 5,439 qualified teachers but chose not to do so.

    Instead of sacking the concerned teachers, the government identified a number of them “that could be trained while others were to be assigned to work in sectors that could include the planting of trees at the Ministry of Environment”.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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