John Shiaondo, Makurdi
The Benue State Teaching Service Board (TSB) has said the board has lost over eight hundred staff in the past four years.
Executive Secretary of the Board Mr. James Pine who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in his office noted that the lost which has resulted to shortage of teachers coupled with inadequate infrastructure were the major challenge being faced by the board.
He said the situation has created deep vacuum in most secondary schools in the state leading to a serious challenge against academic performance among secondary school students in the state.
“Between 2012 and 2015 we have lost more than eight hundred staff of the board through death, retirement and transfer of service and the situation has resulted to acute shortage of teachers in secondary schools across the state resulting to poor academic performance of students,” he maintained.
He said when he assumed office at the board three months ago, he made a conservative request to the governor to allow him recruit 500 staff to replace those lost within the period.
“No major recruitment has been done in the past three years and when I assumed office, I made a request but the governor asked me to prepare the record and put it on hold pending when the economy improves.”
He denied the allegation that government intended to retrench staff noting that even salaries of staff which was over N800 million has now dropped to N600 million due to three factors earlier mentioned.
On the issue of examination malpractice the executive secretary said the board has put in place a team to check the situation.
“Though the board is making its own efforts to arrest the issue of examination malpractice in schools, the situation need a holistic approach that require parents, teachers and all stakeholders to put it to an end,” Pine said.