Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oshiomhole sacks Perm Sec, 41 school inspectors, demotes principal

OshiomholeAll appears not well with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)-led administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the governor yesterday fired 41 school inspectors and demoted a principal of a secondary school.

Besides, Oshiomhole also  announced the sack of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Caro Edo-Osagie, from office with immediate effect for dereliction of duty.

It would be recalled that 20 teachers in secondary schools were, in the last two weeks, dismissed for coming late to school, a development that has elicited the ire of concerned stakeholders, civil society organisations and families as well as individuals in the state.

Oshiomhole’s action followed his continuation of the on-going sanitisation of the education sector.

The decision, according to him, is the outcome of a continuing performance audit.
The governor announced the demotion of the Vice Principal of New Era College, Mr S.E Akhabue, from Grade Level 15 to Grade Level 14 for being a perpetual late comer.

While meeting the affected school inspectors and officers at the Government House, the governor disclosed that the administrative details of the change in the school inspectorate will be made known in the coming days.

It will be recalled that the governor had paid series of unscheduled visits to public schools across the state in the last two weeks where he made mind-boggling discoveries bordering on absenteeism or dereliction of duty by teachers.

Addressing the inspectors yesterday, Oshiomhole said: “It’s obvious from what I’ve seen today and from what you’ve told me that you’ve all breached your basic duties, which is to monitor schools and file basic reports, which among things, should include reports on those present and absent so that government can take steps to assist those who want to work to remain and those who don’t want to work to go home.

“Edo State government has lost millions of naira of taxpayers’ money because of your failure to do your duties.
“You are guilty of negligence of duty and even abandonment of your duties. I believe that most times, you don’t even come to work. We do not need this set of Zonal Inspectors of Education, Chief Inspectors of Education and Local Government Education Inspectors.

“The days are gone when people don’t do their jobs. It’s shocking that you recognise that you are supposed to have written reports, yet you fail to do so.

“I am happy that parents and guardians are returning their children and wards to public schools as a result of the massive investment we have made in the education sector, yet, you, who are to ensure that teachers work, do not do so.

“I’m not hiding the fact that only those who are willing to work will keep their jobs. Everybody must be accountable. I am accountable to the Edo people, the House of Assembly is accountable, so, if we are accountable, who are you not to be accountable?
“If the teachers don’t teach, we have no future and your brief is to ensure that the teachers work and yet you failed to do that.

“It’s a new Edo, everybody must be put on notice to work and justify their pay. I have a duty to remind you that when you have abandoned your job, you have also lost it.”

The Vice Principal of New Era College, Mr. Akhabue, who was demoted by a Grade Level during an unscheduled visit to the school by the governor, was found guilty of perpetually getting to the office late.

The time-book of the teachers, which the governor went through, showed that the Vice Principal sometimes got to the office as late as 9:55a.m.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole yesterday approved the removal of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mrs Caro Edo-Osagie, from office with immediate effect for dereliction of duty.

In a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Louis Odion, the former Permanent Secretary was directed to hand over all government’s property in her care to her immediate subordinate within 24 hours.

Her sack may not be unconnected with the death of a popular actor and a staff of the Culture and Tourism, Brown Atienwen on Sunday last week at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

The late Atienwen was said to have died at the UBTH following alleged insensitivity and neglect by the ministry officials to release a paltry  N150,000 approved for the deceased treatment at the hospital by the state government.

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