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31.03.2021 Journalism In May 2020, Dapo Abiodun Celebrated the Employment of 1,500 Teachers. Today, Appointment Letters are Still Not Ready

Published 31st Mar, 2021

By Socrates Mbamalu

When marking his one year in office in May 2020, Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, listed the employment of 1,500 teachers as part of his achievements.

However, FIJ has learned that the 1,500 teachers who were recruited under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) have not yet been given appointment letters till date, leaving them unemployed.

When the Ogun State government announced the recruitment of 1500 teachers in 2019, it was seen as a step in the right direction by many of the youth who had applied to teach. The job portal was opened between October 27 and November 8, 2019 and over 29,000 applications were received to fill the 1,500 slots.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun marked the employment of 1,500 teachers as one his office achievements.

In February 2020, applicants completed their final stage of interview but the 1,500 teachers who should have started work have been protesting and begging the governor to give them their appointment letter.

Some of the SUBEB applicants met with the Commissioner for Education, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu in February 2021 and were informed that the expected appointment letters might not be issued due to the drop in revenue arising from Covid-19, and the new minimum wage the government was to implement.

Professor Abayomi Adelaja Arigbabu, the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology admitted to FIJ that “people did interview and the appointment has not been given”.

The Ogun State government intends to launch the Ogun Teach (the equivalent of an N-Power Programme) in which the 1,500 SUBEB teachers would be absorbed into the Ogun Teach programme. This would however mean that the 1,500 teachers won’t be under the Teacher’s Service Commission and won’t be eligible for state benefits (which includes low cost housing), and would also instead not be paid the current minimum wage but rather a stipend.

A protester asks governor Dapo Abiodun to give the 1,500 SUBEB teachers appointment letters.

Arigbabu said they were taking teachers for all the three levels of education, primary school, secondary school and technical education. He explained that it was what the state could afford.

“The 1,500 will only bring 1,500 teachers into the system,” he said. “Ogun State needs more than 5,000 teachers. It needs almost 10,000 teachers, and for government that came in and saw that the vacancy is over 10,000 we cannot be talking of employing just 1,500.”

The teachers, though, are still smarting from watching an expected means of livelihood fail to materialise before their very eyes.

Rasheed Adebayo, one of the affected applicants, told FIJ he had left his previous place of work where he used to teach creative arts. “Immediately they sent the message to us that we have been shortlisted for the final interview, joyfully I went to my previous place of assignment and had to round up things and inform them that next week I won’t resume with them.” He has been without a job since last year and now that the government job doesn’t seem to be coming through, he is at a loss as what to do.

Yemi Oyeleye was expectant that he would receive his appointment letter and start working. His previous boss didn’t pay him for the previous months he had worked, putting him in further financial difficulty. With an aged mother to look after and three children, he told FIJ he was unable to meet his responsibility as a son and father.

“It is over a year now that the interview and certificates verification
(final stage) had been conducted for shortlisted applicants since
February, 2020 and the successful applicants are yet to be invited for
appointment letters.”

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Published 31st Mar, 2021

By Socrates Mbamalu

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