Against the promise made by governor Udom Emmanuel on 2017 May Day Celebration that recruitment of 3,000 teachers into public primary schools in the state will be based on merit the cabal in his administration has allegedly hijacked the recruitment exercise.
The Sensor authoritatively learnt that the forms meant for would be teachers from Ikot Ekpene senatorial district was allegedly hijacked by politicians, leaving few for people that thronged state college Ikot Ekpene venue to battle for them.
It was further gathered that as a result of intense struggle to get the remaining few forms, no fewer than six persons collapsed and were rushed to hospital.
One of the applicants, who gave her name as Idara, told our correspondent that she was at the venue of the exercise as early as 7am on Monday and waited till 4pm without getting the form.
It was further gathered that the case was not different at Aka community secondary school, where struggle for the limited forms led to collapse of a pregnant woman. She was said to have been revived by nurses who attended to her.
The collapse of the pregnant woman, it was gathered, led to the separation of pregnant women and nursing mothers from the queue.
A board member of State Universal Basic Education Board SUBEB, Otuekong Bassey who denied the collapse of the pregnant woman, said that pregnant and nursing mothers were no-longer allowed to queue.
He, however, blamed the incident on job seekers for being anxious of getting jobs after long years of graduation. He said, “There has never been any case of collapse, nobody has collapsed. The whole thing is orderly with the help of security agencies. The only problem we have is that every body wants to be the first, they, do not want to exercise patience”.
However, an applicant, Sunday Etim blamed the struggle to get the form on government insincerity on its dealings.
He noted that the same hijack of the recruitment exercise during the recruitment of 5,000 teachers for secondary schools led to it cancellation by the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
It would be recalled that Professor Maria Ikrok was the Chairman of State Secondary Education Board, SSEB when the ill-fated 5,000 teacher’s recruitment exercise was carried out.
Despite the cry of the affected teachers, no respite came their way as they were forced to take another examination and the result is yet to be released.
Checks revealed that Prof. Maria Ikrok is again the chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB which forms meant for genuine applicants have been hijacked.
Our correspondent gathered that the non-availability of the forms for those that have no connection with powerful politicians has put Governor Udom Emmanuel on the spot as on the promised he made to the people on May 1, 2017.
Meanwhile, a retired civil servant in the state, Mr. Gordson Udoma, has stressed the need for the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education to withdraw the forms for recruitment of NCE teachers in the state from the centres, alleging that the exercise has been overtaken by fraud. Mr. Udoma, a retired Director of a Federal Government Ministry, said that Governor Udom Emmanuel, should consider local government area councils as more convenient centres for the distribution of the recruitment forms, noting that the distribution of the forms outside the council areas encourages more fraud in the system. He disclosed particularly, that the exercise at State Collage in Ikot Ekpene, which is the centre for the senatorial district was marred by the large crowd of applicants that converged on the centre, beyond control of the distributors.
He further maintained that for the government to decide to distribute the forms at these centres, it is suspicious that the forms are not available to go round all the local government areas in the state.
On the issue of the recently aborted recruitment of 5,000 teachers for secondary schools in the state, the retired Federal worker, noted that the state government’s decision was not in the best interest of the state’s educational system, and argued that many secondary schools in the state lack qualified teachers to replace those teachers who retired from service.
He noted that in some secondary schools in the state, the schools’ heads are forced to employ part-time teachers to teach important subjects like English language and mathematics while many graduates of these subjects’ areas are roaming the streets unemployed. He advised the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to retrace his steps to ensure validation of the 5,000 teachers for secondary schools in the state.