Home Education Oyo Teachers’ Recruitment Process Mustn’t Be Politicized | Oluwatoyin Adeyemi

Oyo Teachers’ Recruitment Process Mustn’t Be Politicized | Oluwatoyin Adeyemi

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Some years back, I wanted to join civil service, teaching specifically. I was fresh out of the Federal College of Education (special), Oyo. I actually had one of the best results in my set.

In fact, I taught briefly at Best Legacy International School, Awe because the proprietress, Dr. Mrs Giwa had an arrangement with certain departments in the college whereby their best graduating students were offered ‘automatic’ employment in her school.

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So, I was enjoying teaching at Best Legacy, the job satisfaction that comes with knowing that I was impacting lives. However, I wanted more, more to me at that time meant getting a teaching job in Oyo State. Then I had a sister who was a teacher in one of the primary schools in the state who informed me about the SUBEB recruitment test for teachers then. I wrote the test which was very easy by my estimation and submitted all required documents. I wanted it to be purely on merit. It’s only if I would get my test result tomorrow.

We later heard that some people got in through the back door. My sister said that I didn’t get the job because we didn’t involve any strong politician or someone in government. Naive me, I had thought my qualification would be enough. I was rest assured in my spirit that those kids would be lucky to have me teach them. I was so confident! I wanted so desperately to serve!

So yesterday when I read that the Oyo State Government is set to recruit teachers, I was not excited about the news. I’m concerned that the politicians may hijack the process again and use the opportunity to compensate people who worked for PDP’s victory in the last gubernatorial election. Or maybe that shouldn’t be my concern. Maybe my concern should be that in the process of rewarding party loyalists through teaching job slots, more incompetent teachers could be recruited into the system.

In the paragraph above, I used the word “more” to qualify “incompetent teachers” because I am not aware if this government has taken any step to evaluate the current education structure being operated in the state in order to ensure that we have only competent teachers in our schools. I was reliably informed that some secondary school teachers were recently re-trained. What do we do with the ‘untrainables’? My point is not that incompetent teachers should be sacked but is it possible that they are drafted into other sectors of the civil service where they can deliver?

As a concerned citizen of Oyo State, I am hereby advocating that the teachers recruitment process should not be politicized.

The teaching profession is too sensitive to be ‘sentimentalized’. Our best brains should be our teachers. I am not against party loyalists being rewarded but this reward should not be at the expense of achieving quality education in the state. In fact, if a party loyalist is competent to teach, he could be rewarded through the process. My point this morning is that competence should be the the first consideration in this recruitment process.

I must at this juncture once again applaud the constant declaration of Oyo State Governor to ensure that education in the state remains free from primary to secondary school. However, I believe that education at those levels should not just be free, it should be also be quality and standard. We must understand that we cannot achieve quality education without quality teachers. The governor should set up an Education Reform Board which will consist of education professionals who are more importantly men and women of character.

These people will ensure that the teachers we have now are properly evaluated. The situation where teachers were recruited without regard for due process, where teaching appointment slots were given out as compensation to party loyalists should be totally eradicated. A workable transparent structure, maybe digital that will defeat the manipulations of desperate civil servants and politicians should be instituted to handle the recruitment process.

We cannot continue to politicize the future of our children. Can we ensure that every teacher in the state have basic teaching qualification i.e. N.C.E? We must understand that it is not every brilliant person that can teach. The fact that someone is intelligent and probably graduated with a 1st class from the university does mean that the person can teach. You see, teaching is a skill that has to be mastered which is why education is a course of study. People are trained to teach. That is why sometimes a 2nd class lower graduate of English Language Education may make a better English Language teacher than a first class graduate of English Language. For instance, a teacher of the gifted and talented does not have to be a genius, he only needs to understand the personality of his students and the concepts he is supposed to teach them. It is preferable if he possesses above average intelligence such that he won’t be embarrassed by his smart students though.

Can we also ensure that we have regular training and re-training programmes for our teachers? Last week Thursday, I attended a training where Mr. Saheed Oladele, Proprietor, Erudite Millennium Limited trained Information officers in Oyo State on Correct English Usage and Current trends in the English Language as a medium of communication. The error analysis section in particular revealed how necessary the training was. One of the points I took away from that training was that Nigeria Education System is still as backward as it is because we have refused to constantly update our knowledge and as such we have been left very much behind educationally. He explained how for instance the English Language vocabulary is constantly revised. Likewise, most of our English Language teachers, most especially who were trained many years ago and do not have the opportunity of being re-trained regularly may not be able to impart knowledge that is relevant to the 21st century learner.

So, this morning, I am not only challenging the Governor to ensure that the teachers’ recruitment process is not politicized but to also engage an organization like Erudite Millennium Limited coordinated by Saheed Oladeleto re-train existing teachers.

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