Benue State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, has hinted that the state government would soon probe the financial activities of the state’s Teaching Service Board (TSB), under the leadership of Dr Wilfred Uji.
Our source reports that Uji, who was appointed TSB Executive Secretary by Governor Samuel Ortom in 2016, resigned on Friday, April 3.
Uji, in his resignation letter, said that he was opting out so as to return to the Federal University of Lafia, where he was an Associate Professor of History.
“I want to return to the university to pursue the attainment of full Professorial status,” he stated.
He accused the Ministry of Education of “meddling in the affairs of the board, especially regarding teachers promotion and discipline”.
The former TSB boss, who later posted his resignation on social media platforms, blamed the political class for “creating unnecessary rivalry in the state for political advantage”.
He also blamed the state bureaucracy for excluding some appointees from direct dealings with the governor.
Ityavyar, while reacting, told Journalists at the weekend in Makurdi that Uji was forced to resign, contrary to his claims of voluntary resignation.
Ityavyar said that the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Secretary to the Benue State Government were inundated with complaints of alleged financial impropriety against the former TSB boss.
“Uji was asked by Gov Ortom to tender his resignation letter on 1st April, but instead of doing so, he was busy appealing to stakeholders and traditional rulers to intervene on his behalf.
“The ministry had, on five occasions, through writing, stopped Uji from collecting illegal deductions from salaries of school principals and teachers, but he refused to stop,” he alleged.
The commissioner, who described Uji’s conduct as “deficient in all forms of integrity”, claimed that Uji was “unfit to head a public office”.
He alleged that the former TSB boss had, on several occasions, ordered school Principals to kneel down before him while apologising for acts of misdeeds.
“The former Executive Secretary of the TSB was actually asked to resign on Monday, April 1, 2020, when it became obvious that he could no longer competently manage the high office he occupied.
“He was also insubordinate to the government that appointed him and did not respect the ministry supervising the board.
“Rather than mend his ways, Uji went round lobbying prominent individuals and traditional rulers to have them intervene and stop his sack,” he said.
He also accused Uji of failing to remit some mandatory revenue collections to the Ministry.
“Uji’s inability to interpret his role at TSB led to his underperformance, gross misconduct and eventual forced resignation.
“Throughout his nearly four years as the helmsman at the TSB, Uji never followed laid down civil service rules nor recognised the need to work in harmony with his supervising Ministry.
“Rather, he derived pleasure in circumventing due process and cutting corners, acts that were inimical to the smooth operation of the agency he headed.
“For instance, there are several cases of allegations of illegal deductions of salaries of principals of schools during his tenure.
“He exhibited more acts of gross ignorance and insubordination when he chose to query the role of the Ministry of Education over agencies and departments under it, while flagrantly flouting the same.
“But, because he never understood his role, he chose to dump his inefficiency on the Governor, claiming that he had no time with the Governor to brief him. This is another tissue of lies which has no basis whatsoever.
“Under his leadership at the TSB, the transfer of teachers was for sale. Any official who wanted to be transferred was made to pay for his or her transfer” he alleged.
But Uji, while reacting to the allegations, described the commissioner’s claims as “totally false”.
“Everything he said is a lie. It is total falsehood. The deductions, for instance, didn’t start with me. That has been the situation in the past 30 years,” he said.
Centre Wants Govts To Update School Curriculum
The Centre for Distance Learning, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, has urged governments at all levels to update school curriculum in tune, with the realities of the new normal.
A Deputy Director in the University, Dr Abdullahi Bashir, made the call at the National Teachers Conference organised by Maltina Teacher of the year, on Friday, in Yola, with the theme: ”Classroom Without Border; The New Normal.”
Bashir said that the current school curriculum needed to be revisited in the light of current developments in the education sector caused by technology and current global realities.
He said this would help to improve the standard of education in the country and enable students compete with their peers around the world.
Bashir also stated the need for governments to look into teachers’ welfare with a view to align their remuneration with doctors, engineers and other professions.
In her remarks, Adamawa Commissioner for Education,Mrs Wilbina Jackson, appreciated the efforts of the organizsers for their contributions to education development in the country.
Jackson, who was represented by Executive Secretary, Post Primary Education Management Board,Mrs Maryam Abubakar, charged teachers to impact positively on the life of their students to succeed in future.
According to her, the world is moving towards technology, hence the need to encourage students to embrace it in order to succeed.
Mrs Christable Malachia, who spoke on behalf of the participants, said the conference was timely, as they had learnt a lot, having been exposed to how to relate well with the students, parents and other staff, as well as how to be good mentors.
Admission: College Begs JAMB For Waiver On Technical Courses
The Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka Lagos, has requested the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), to grant it a waiver in technical courses.
The Provost of the institution, Dr. Wahab Azeez, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Lagos said that such waiver would attract more prospective students to the college.
Azeez was speaking against the backdrop of the poor enrolment of students in the college.
He explained that the idea was to create openings to attract school certificate holders to the college and build a career in technical education.
“Enrollment has not been encouraging and we are not silent on it.
“So, what we did was to approach JAMB to give us a wave in certain technical and vocational courses.
“We are hopeful that our request will get positive response from JAMB and it will throw opportunity for more students to register for technical or vocational courses in our college.
“Technical and vocational education is where the money is.
“Students who finish from the college may not necessarily look for a paid job because of the training they have acquired,’’ he expressed.
According to him, part of efforts to project the image of the college, was to reach out to the ministry of education with the purpose of having direct access to technical Secondary Schools.
Azeez explains that the college teaches related vocational subjects, which serve as foundation for students, who may want to settle in the field.
“Five technical schools are here in Lagos, including our FCE, Technical, which prompted our visit to the Lagos Commissioner for Education.
“The focus is more on technical teaching, where our seasoned lecturers take them through oral, practical rudiments of vocational education and inculcate in them, self reliance,’’ he said.
Azeez said that infrastructural developments, researches, academics, welfare, administration and social activities would continue to be prioritised, in order to make the learning environment conducive for students and staff.
According to him, construction of buildings for lectures, programmes and staffroom are ongoing, as part of measures to upgrade and bring the institution to an amiable state.
He said that under his administration, the science complex was being constructed and would be equipped with modern laboratory materials for the teaching of sciences and computer studies.
“Also, part of the ongoing constructions in the college is a technical workshop.’’
The management has equally taken steps to address issues of security water projects, he added.
The provost expressed optimism that the ongoing amendment bill on the Act that established the college, now at the National Assembly, would lead to the upgrade of the institution to a Federal University of Technical Education.
CEAPoly: Governing Council Chairman Lauds Members, Rector On Commitment
The Governing Council of the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic (CEAPOLY) has been described as one of the best in the comity of governing councils in the various institutions Rivers State.
Chairman of the council, Senator Lee Maeba, stated this during at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the two storey governing council building complex at the insititution in PortHarcourt, recently.
Maeba, who noted that the governing council of the institution was committed to the progress of the institution, said it remained unwavered even in the faces of the challenge of a building for members’ meetings and deliberations.
Describing the members of the council as steadfast and lovers of the institution, Maeba expressed joy over the cordial relationship that existed among members, maintaining that their zeal and forthrightness would take the polytechnic to greater heights.
He said, “This governing council is one of the best governing councils in the schools in the state. I want to thank members of the council for their forthrightness and love for the school. These are members who spend their money to come to school on private visit to see to the welfare of the school. There is no friction between governing council and members and our meetings have always ended cordially. I am happy to be associated with these cream of members”.
While assuring that the polytechnic would witness flagoff of other constructions on campus, Maeba averred that the destruction of the former governing council building by the wildwind was a deliberate act to bring about a modern and beffiting complex in the institution.
“This auditorium was blown off by wildwind sometimes in May 2018. The sole purpose of the wind was to blow off a building that was no longer befitting for the school and the aim of the wind is actualised today”, he said.
The CEAPOLY governing council chairman further lauded the Rector of the institution, Dr Samuel B Kalagbor for his dedication towards the growth of the institution.
In his words”the Rector is committed as he wants to move the school forward. We have passed a vote of confidence on him twice. First as a provost and then seeing his dedication, it was on us to convert his duty as a provost to a rector and that was done seamlessly because he deserves it.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
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