21st September, 2013
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government Administration and Chieftaincy Affairs were shocked on Saturday after learning of the acute shortage of teachers in some parts of the Epe area of Lagos State, western Nigeria.
Chairman of the Eredo Local Council Development Area of the state, Omolaja Adelaja, who disclosed this to the committee members, led by Olanrewaju Moshood, on an official tour to some parts of the state, said the council had been battling to resolve the situation.
“We have less than 50 percent of the required figure of primary school teachers in our area. There is even a particular school where we have only one teacher who also acts as the head teacher,” he told the committee.
The council chairman explained that the figure is continually shored up with graduates serving under the National Youth Service Corps scheme, an explanation that the committee said was not enough to curb the shortage.
He said he had written to the state government on the issue.
He complained that some schools even have 512 pupils with only nine teachers saying the figure is even worse in some other schools within the area.
Adelaja further explained that the shortage of teachers is a common problem facing the entire Epe. But P.M. NEWS learnt that other councils within the region with the same problem, have employed residents of the area as temporary teachers to reduce the problem.
One of the committee members, Mufutau Egberongbe, told the council chairman to see the problem as an emergency suggesting that the situation may have accounted for insecurity and cult crises that have been reported in newspapers concerning the area.
“You hear of the negative trends, insecurity and cult activities in this area in the newspapers. This is the result of getting it wrong at the primary school level.
“You must liaise with the community and authorities concerned to shore up the number even if it requires reducing the number of officials that make up the Neighbourhood Watch in your area,” he said.
Some of the committee members also urged the council to relate with the House Committee on Education concerning the issue.
According to Egberongbe, the state government is seriously concerned with human capital development and would appreciate councils that assist in that regard.
Oshun reminded the council chairman that the area is important to the state politically urging him to therefore ensure that he makes positive impact in the area of education.
At the Lekki LCDA, the committee requested for some documents which it asked the council to make available to it by next week.
Members of the committee also commended the Ibeju-Lekki Local Government council chairman, Kemi Surakatu, political office holders and staff of the council for the performance of its budget and coordination of its activities.