Protest in Ogun, as 1,500 prospective teachers allege govt plan to dump them for casuals | Ripples Nigeria
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Protest in Ogun, as 1,500 prospective teachers allege govt plan to dump them for casuals

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About 1,500 shortlisted candidates for employment into the Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board have protested against alleged government decision to dump their recruitment exercise for a casual teaching initiative.

The government had commenced the recruitment of the 1,500 teachers in the last quarter of 2019 but suspended the exercise because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the applicants on Tuesday marched to the Governor’s Office with placards, calling on the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, to release their appointment letters.

This came up less than 24 hours after the state government announced the new initiative, which involved fresh recruitment of teachers that would serve as interns for two years.

Speaking with newsmen at the state secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the protesters expressed fears that the government had subtly cancelled their recruitment for the new initiative.

The protesters claimed the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, had previously informed them that the release of their appointment letters might not be possible anytime soon because of lack of funds.

However, speaking on behalf of the protesters, an applicant from Abeokuta South, Yemi Oyeleye, appealed to the governor to consider them for the job, as they have waited for many months.

Oyeleye said, “What we expected from the government is the completion of the ongoing recruitment, which has taken almost two years now. We have been left unattended to; no communication. We are the ones forcing ourselves to hear from them; they refuse to talk to us.

Read also: Ogun ex-commissioner for Education, Odubela, dies of Covid-19

“They sent us congratulatory messages that we have been selected. We are appealing to the governor to give us our appointment letters.”

Another candidate, Gbeletan Ismail expressed shock that the government has started the recruitment of interns without any update on the 1,500 applicants.

Ismail said, “They said they want to recruit teachers on a contract basis. We met with the Commissioner for Education and he said appointment letters are not feasible because the government is not that financially buoyant to pay the permanent workers.

“He said that was why they were thinking of another arrangement of empowering another set of people, who after two years, maybe considered for permanent employment. This is what the government promised. All we want is our employment letter.”

However, the State Chairman of SUBEB, Dr Femi Majekodunmi, denied the cancellation of the process, but confirmed that the delay was caused by shortage of fund.

He said, “This is a kind of interim thing. It is a contract for two years. We have not cancelled their recruitment. But, if they want to partake in this new recruitment, they are free to take part. Government did not forget them.”

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