45% of teachers absent as Governor pays unscheduled visit

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

Governor Kashim Shettiman of Borno State has 45 percent of teachers receiving salaries at Lamisula Primary and Junior Secondary located in Maiduguri, Maiduguri absent from their duty post.

The governor made the discovery after school at noon on Wednesday and taking a roll call at the school, that the school had 87 teachers, but 43 teachers were absent.

According to a statement from the government, seven out of the 45 absent were on their annual leave, which was duly approved.

The statement said Governor Shettima had regularly carried out such visits to assess facility in the schools and other needs, so as to supervise renovation works being carried out in many of the schools across the State.

It said the governor took teachers by surprise when he suddenly ordered his convoy to the school and directed the State’s Head of Service, Barrister Yakubu Bukar, to call out names of teachers in order to identify those absent.

It was gathered that despite frantic efforts by some teachers to call their colleagues to the school, 38 teachers, representing 44.6 % were recorded absent.

After observing that pupils were sitting on the bare floor, the Governor ordered the state mechanical workshop to convey desks to the school.

“It is really disturbing that in the heart of Maiduguri, our children are sitting on the floor to learn despite thousands of school desks we have distributed. We have desks here that are bad and kept in one class, no one brought this to my attention and children who are desirous of learning are now sitting on the floor. Even when the teachers are sitting on the floor, more than 40% of teachers are absent. Those absent will face punishment to serve as a deterrent to other teachers and workers,” Shettima said in anger.

The Governor spent nearly one hour at the school, visiting each of the 14 classrooms at the primary and junior secondary levels, where he interacted with each of nearly one thousand pupils and gave each a gift, before his departure.