I have pondered over time, on whether the youth (myself inclusive) are prepared and ready for the mantle of leadership if we have the opportunity, and I conclusively agreed with some elders notion who are afraid of entrusting the younger ones with a leadership position, because a larger number of the youth LACK AN IN-DEPTH ANALYTICAL SKILLS required to become a leader, thus, praise and/or eulogise anything thrown at them. Consequences for which may be adduced to POVERTY caused by their unemployed status due to the failing government policies (both past and present) or GREED on the part of some gullible youths.
I read all over social media about the recent press release of the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, where it was shamelessly written that the Ogun State government will commence the recruitment of the Ogun State Teaching Experience Acquisition Channel (Ogun TEACh), and it was famed as a SPECIAL INTERVENTION SCHEME designed to fill the existing vacancies in the Public Primary/Secondary Schools and Technical Colleges in the State. Successful applicants that would be known as ‘TEACh interns’ shall be deployed to Local Government Areas in dire need of their services (not necessarily close to their home) for a period of TWO (2) years. TEACh intern would thereafter be assessed on parameters ranging from expertise, commitment to duty, punctuality, respect for constituted authority and willingness to work wherever they are posted to, among others. Outstanding Teach Interns MAY BE considered for full employment if and when such opportunity arises AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THEIR INTERNSHIP.
May I at this junction state clearly that I do not have the intention to insult anybody’s personality but to give an insight into the dangers of this intervention. Also, the Ogun State Governor (Prince Dapo Abiodun) who once claimed to be the son of a retired teacher may have been wrongly advised by some individuals who claimed to know but are ignorant of the Teaching Profession, or the advice was upturned by those who are half-educated but prefer to remain at the corridor of power; thereby, ignorantly seeking the SECOND TERM in office for the Governor at the expense of innocent Ogun indigenes and settlers.
I sincerely share the sentiment of the Ogun State government to engage many jobless youths as ‘an idle hand has been identified to be the devil’s workshop’ but presenting an advanced Federal Government Npower programme should not be a welcome idea. I also admit that the Ogun State government once initiated schemes like the Voluntary Teachers Scheme (VTS) and Gateway Grassroot Teachers Scheme (GGTS) under the leadership of Otunba Gbenga Daniel which could not stand the test of time for numerous reasons that I will not delve into here. Victims of the above-listed programmes, especially GGTS can relate to their ordeals.
As much as I perceived this Ogun TEACh scheme as a POLITICALLY MOTIVATED MODERN DAY SLAVERY, I do not expect a University of Education made Professor with NCE, B.Sc (Ed), M.Sc. and PhD who know how sensitive Education is (as the educated mind is regarded as an informed citizen), and have researched and/or read numerous research findings on MOTIVATION and REWARD to either deliberately or ignorantly agreed and signed STIPEND as remuneration for the prospective TEACh intern applicants under such conditions. Perhaps, little analysis will clarify my point.
Ogun citizens are aware that since the inception of Gov. Dapo Abiodun in office, the number of retired and/or dead teachers has increased tremendously without replacement, not to add those who retired and/or died during Sen. Ibikunle Amosun’s reign, and from all indications, there has never been any official replacement, perhaps, that was made a FAMILY ISSUE and/or AFFAIR. Every school in Ogun State have complaints of inadequate teachers which I presume Ogun TEACh intend to tackle. Hence, To ask the authority concerned the following questions won’t be out of place, and failure to give a direct and sincere answer should be seen as some individual are currently working on ways to siphon public fund;
1. Can the Ogun State Government give an account of the budget allocated to the EDUCATION sector in relation to the salaries of those teachers who retired and/or died?
2. Why can’t the salaries of those retired and/or dead teachers be used to replace junior teachers rather than recruiting interns?
3. How do you expect someone under the above-highlighted conditions of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to be loyal to the Ministry and follow the teaching profession etiquettes to the latter?
4. Can people who orchestrated this devilish programme happily wished Ogun TEACh for their immediate children?
5. What happens to the pending recruitment process filled on Ogun Job Portal by prospective teaching applicants?
From the above questions, PAUCITY OF FUND should not be an excuse under whatever guise to replace teachers in schools and reposition the Education sector.
For the youths (myself inclusive), the earlier we stop early jubilation over an announcement and/or policy to give room for in-depth analysis of such policy and/or announcement the better for this generation of ours. I made bold to say that our generation has not been fortified enough to attain leadership positions or to constructively challenge/correct the authorities whenever they are going wrong. A lot still needs to be corrected in us.
Lastly, we will be alright someday!
BALOGUN R. Oluwafemi