- Look for professionals, not quacks, NUT cautions
- Report fraudsters to Police – FG
As jobless graduates await the commencement of the recruitment of 500,000 Nigerians as classroom teachers nationwide, fraudsters have cashed in on the programme to defraud many, who are too anxious to secure jobs.
Last December, President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed in the 2016 budget that half a million teachers would be recruited to work in the education sector. Following this announcement, controversies have erupted across the system over the selection process, approaches to be used by the government and other related issues.
But some conmen have begun to play a fast one, as they have now set up various organisations, asking interested candidates to register for a fee, so as to be considered for the extremely competitive job.
Some illegal recruitment agencies have been sending text messages to the public, indicating that applicants should forward their curriculum vitae and application letters to an email disguised as belonging to the government.
In a reaction to this, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Michael Olukoya, said, “I’m aware of the fraudulent activities going on in the recruitment process. You see, fraud is a Nigerian factor and I think the Federal Government is trying to put things in place.
“I think the government should rise up to the occasion and find those perpetrating this fraud. They should be called to order.”
Similarly, the Media Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Femi Adesina, said that “the plan is a budget proposal and is still at the implementation level. It is a national issue. I shouldn’t be making comments on this yet.”
Speaking on the illegal agencies, he added, “It is a security matter. An-yone who receives such a text message should just inform the security. If there are any agencies asking people to send applications based on the recruitment, they (Nigerians) should report them to the police.”
PROFESSIONALS, A MUST – NUT
Having acknowledged the Federal Government’s wisdom in choosing to recruit more teachers, Olukoya, the NUT boss, said, “The recruitment of 500,000 teachers into the system is good, after all, those that would be recruited are Nigerians. And in an economy of this nature, if 500,000 people are gainfully employed, it is like giving employment to two million people because of the multiplier effects.
“Now, having approached that programme, we still have to say that the President should not be misled by recruiting anybody into the teaching profession. Engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, doctors were not trained to teach; they don’t understand the psychology of teaching and learning.”
The NUT national president further counselled the Federal Government on the recruitment process that would be commencing this year. He said, “The FG should go out and look for those that are professionally qualified. If I may ask, what informed this policy? I know that the President and his team are focused on a virile and better education policy.
“Recruit the right personnel. Don’t play politics with it. You cannot give what you don’t have. For me, I have absolute confidence in the mantra of change. So, I would advise that they should recruit teachers that are professionally qualified.”
BRIDGING THE RIGHT GAPS
The NUT boss has, meanwhile, listed subjects in dire need of teachers in the public schools. “The core subject areas in need of teachers, which I would advise the government to focus on are the major and compulsory science, arts and commercial subjects, because we have always advocated that we should include entrepreneurial skills in the students’ curriculum so as to make them employable and selfdependent. But it is left for Government to let us know the method that will be used for the recruitment,” he said.
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