A popular saying goes, “what is good for the geese is also good for the gander”. But how true is this saying in Abia state, considering the plights of Secondary School teachers?
For so long in Abia State, this saying has been relegated to the background and seem valid when issues involving Civil Servants in the state come up. But as events continue to go down the drains in relation to Teacher’s plights, one is tempted to ask what is the sins of the Noble men and women in the profession who work hard during class periods and continue when they retire to their homes in search of ways to widen the horizon of pupils/students.
In the last dispensation of Okezie Ikpeazu (Ph.D), Senior Secondary School Teachers were owed backlog of salaries as though they never belonged anywhere despite their sacrifices. So many of them faced varying degrees of humiliation, some were hospitalized while others died in the process without proper acknowledgement of their sacrifices, leaving many wondering if they died for nothing?
Most heartrending were the pensioners who had no one to fend for them. As though that was not enough, the 2021 promotion interview was conducted in 2023 amidst stringent laid down rules where teachers were subjected to rigours of paying highly for APPAFORMS, paying at Secondary Education Management Board,(SEMB), CBT test ( held on a Wednesday, where many of them had to hire and rent clothes at the interview premises) and the subsequent oral interviews held on later dates. And, I dare ask again, what is the sin of teachers in Abia State?
As these were not enough, the results of the interviews were published which also opened another page as the process saw teachers pass through herculean challenges trying to collect their GEN 35 which authenticates the promotion. Yet again, Teachers were subjected to another bout of payment of N1,500 before they could collect. This is indeed an act of disavowal!
Alas, the Almighty, long and much expected June Salary finally came, regrettably, none of the Abia Secondary Education Management Board Teachers’ new promotion status was effected nor paid whereas their colleagues in MDAs received theirs.
At this point, it will be wise to ask the present administration, if they are about to subject Secondary school teachers to another bout of promotion interview, similar to that held under past administration? could it to be wise to assume that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is responsible for it even though we know that government is a continuum? Does it mean that some people cornered the money? I stand to be corrected in all these posers.
Indeed, the truism in the saying “what is good for the geese is also good for the gander” should be followed to the later. Since Civil Servants, who had same promotional interviews, have had theirs implemented in full, it will be very absurd and amount to irrationality if the authorities saddled with this responsibility, withhold that of SEMB teachers.
A new Abia we are preaching must touch all facets in the state if not, it will be seen as a gimmick to clinch power and do worse things than the previous administration accused of insensitivity in all ramifications.
Izuchukwu Nwokoma, is a Journalist, Public Affairs Analyst.Tags: Abia Teachers, Gen 35, Gov Alex Otti, NUT, SEMB