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Alarming review shows that only 5,439 of the state’s teachers are qualified to teach

7 October 2022
Reading time: 4 minutes

A review of Borno State’s teachers has shown that of the more than 19,500 who wrote exams, only 5,439 passed; 7,915 needed further training; 3,829 were not qualified to teach and 2,389 did not have any qualifications at all.

An independent body of academics set the examination.

Bukar Abba Wakilbe, Borno State’s commissioner of education, said: “Naturally, those who took part in the examination and failed are blaming the exam process, saying it was flawed.”

He said the teachers who felt they had been victimised during the exam process should submit their names to the Nigerian Union of Teachers, which had set up a committee to look into the results, adding that the review was to establish that all teachers could be verified as having the right qualifications to teach.

“Soon we will be hold training sessions for teachers across the state. Once completed, they will be tested and if they pass, they will receive the minimum wage salary of ₦‎30,000.”

He said some of the 7,915 teachers who needed further training could not produce certificates and had not been verified as teachers even though some had worked at multiple schools.

When asked why not all teachers had been paid minimum wages, he said the department had been waiting for the results of the independent examination process.

Teachers found themselves under the spotlight this week as the world celebrated World Teachers’ Day on Wednesday, October 5. There were mixed emotions in Borno State, where some teachers complained about the welfare of teachers and others rejoiced over some improvements.

Wakilbe said one of the improvements was that the government had approved the extension of the retirement age from 40 years to 65 years.

He said he was aware of the shortage of teachers. “In the current situation, we recognise that there is an inadequate number of teachers. But we are begging teachers to rededicate themselves to their jobs and attend classes regularly.”

Teachers told RNI reporter Ummi Fatima Baba Kyari that there was an education crisis in the state and complained about their low salaries, an inadequate number of teachers and a lack promotion opportunities.

Muhammad Ibrahim, a teacher at the Government Day Secondary School in Mairi said: “My salary is less than ₦30,000, the minimum age. I am paid under the state government and there has been no improvement in my salary for years. I’m not happy.”

Adama Muhammad said: “I teach in Sanda Kyarimi 1 school and I thank God that I have received a salary increase this year, unlike before when I didn’t receive any increase.

“All we need now is for the government to increase the number of teachers as it has promised. There is a serious shortage of teachers. I think money has something to do with it because some teachers are not even getting the minimum wage of ₦30,000, which the government promised to rectify but has not done so. All teachers should receive at least the minimum wage.”

Baba Goni Damboa, also a teacher, said: “Teaching in the community is something to be proud of. We are respected because we impart knowledge to the children. The communities where we teach welcome us and are grateful for what we are doing in society. I am satisfied with being a teacher.”

“Luckily to say this, but I was privileged to be among those teachers who received the minimum wage salary this month,” said Alhaji Mustapha Adam Usman, who also works for the Government Day Secondary School in Mairi. “Borno State governor Babagana Umara Zulum promised that all teachers would receive at least the minimum wage. Well, he has fulfilled that promise for me, because I received mine. The governor also promised to implement a system for promotions, but up until today, nothing has been done.

“We want the government to implement promotions so that we will earn more money and be able to live comfortably.”


About the author

Elvis Mugisha