It has become very disheartening to note that secondary education in Abia state has lost credence and no more given a pride of place. Eight months running and still counting yet secondary school teachers are yet to receive April salary.
The question then is: is it that the barber does not know his job or a case of blunt razor? Students no longer go to school because teachers are hardly in school; most parents on the other hand, have withdrawn their wards to private schools who charge as low as seven thousand naira.
Not minding the above fact, Abia government still increased the so called education levy from five thousand six hundred and twenty five naira to six thousand seven hundred naira. While people look for money to marry for bachelors, pregnant women keep giving birth to males.
This is a clear case of insensitivity and wickedness to the plight of secondary school teachers in contrast to Primary school teachers, local government and health workers who have been paid up to June, not to talk of ministries and parastatals whose salaries are up to date. Yet, those who suffered to impart and impact them are marginalised and discriminated against.
In the face of all these nonpayment of salaries and it’s attendant consequences in the education sector in the State, how would any government expect that teachers would have the enthusiasm to sit and prepare note of lessons, let alone go to school and attend classes?
Has it not been said repeatedly that an hungry man is an angry man? Going by these inhuman treatment against secondary school teachers in Abia State, one is then tempted to ask what would become the fate of education in the state in the next two years if this dilemma is not addressed?
One would again wonder why the level of malpractice on the part of students and truancy on the part of teachers won’t escalate.
As the situation stands, secondary school teachers stand to celebrate Christmas with March salary that is if they have not spent all. As though that is not enough, the newest method of payment has added to the insult: less than a quarter of teachers are paid once and the remaining three quarter, paid after a month interval. Heartbreaking, one would say.
Government of the day, its cohorts and sycophants should reconsider their stance and mete out justice to secondary school teachers who are also part of their success stories or face the judgement of God and wrath of teachers.
It will also be wise to ask Abia government what happened to the two time Paris fund released to the state to aid the payment of salaries of workers? Without mincing words, Abia state is heavily under siege and has become God’s own state where devils rule.
#God Help Abia.
By Nwokoma IZUCHUKWU