The Commissioner for Education in Imo State, Prof. (Mrs.) Viola Onwuliri, has directed all Headteachers and Principals of the State’s owned Primary and Secondary Schools to observe every Thursday as the Igbo Language Day.
The Education Commissioner gave the directive in her office while addressing the Executives of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Imo State Wing who paid her a courtesy visit. She opined that the Igbo Language and Culture must be preserved by encouraging our children to speak it so that the prediction that it would go into extinction in the next 30 years would not come to fruition.
Prof. Onwuliri stressed the need for discipline in the state school system, adding that the Rebuild Imo Government has zero tolerance for lateness to school and truancy among Principals, Head teachers and teachers as well as warned against extortion, bribery and corruption. She said any erring teacher caught, would be sanctioned and have himself or herself to blame.
She called on the members of the Union to support the Government to rebuild the education sector. Prof. Onwuliri, commended the Governor for his passion in the rehabilitation of public schools, and revealed that the Governor has approved the provision of 100 of four set of seats per ward and that some Schools have been selected for perimeter fencing and sinking of water boreholes.
The Education Commissioner disclosed that government would want to engage the communities to help in the infrastructural development of schools located in their areas, as government cannot do everything alone.
She directed all the School Heads in the State to supply data of all the Teachers, Pupils and Students in their Schools and ensure that a child must pass promotion exams before going to the next class.
Earlier, in an address read by the State NUT Chairman, Rev. Phillip Nwansi, he stated that the members of the Union are partners in progress in the Rebuild Imo Government and expressed their support for the government’s pronouncement against examination malpractices and for the encouragement and promotion of Igbo Language in our Schools.
He pointed out that the new leadership of the Union since inception has established Teachers Cooperative and Loan Scheme, increased the benefits of retired and deceased teachers, and commenced the renovation of the NUT secretariat, along Port Harcourt road, Owerri.
While extolling the Governor for the payment of 100 percent salaries to Imo teachers, he requested for the employment of more teachers in both primary and secondary schools, especially Science teachers, new promotion of teachers since the last promotion was in 2014; administrative cost, intensive supervision of Schools; rehabilitation of decayed infrastructure in rural Schools, training and retraining of primary school teachers, among others.
He equally drew the attention of the Commissioner to the upcoming World Teachers Day, scheduled to hold on October 5, 2019, celebrated globally as a work free day for teachers. The NUT State Chairman requested her to help intimate the Governor on the Day.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has said that, the Rebuild Imo Government of Rt. Hon. Emaka Ihedioha, has never introduced the payment of N5,000 (Five Thousand) as school fees per pupil in the Public Primary Schools and N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira) as School fees per student in her Public Secondary Schools.
In a release signed by the Honourable Commissioner of Education, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, parents, guardians and the general Public were requested to discountenance with such rumours making rounds in various quarters to that effect.
“Government hence, advises parents and guardians not to pay any money as school fees, as the rumours are contrary to the ideals of the Rebuild Imo Government of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the Governor of Imo State.
“Imo citizens are enjoined to reach out to the Ministry of Education through text messages only on any complaints, suggestions and enquiries on 09072002947 and on Twitter @imoeducation”, the release concluded.
It will be recalled that though Imolites erroneously believed that the rescue mission administration of Rochas Okorocha, offered free education to pupils of public private schools in the state and their counterparts in public junior secondary schools, many have entertained fears that the exit of Rochas Okorocha, will imply reintroduction of school fees.
However, when it is realized that the federal government through the Universal Basic Education (UBED) has instituted a free primary and junior secondary schools in the country hence the state has no authority over these levels of free education and cannot stop free education henceforth.