USAID, stakeholders lament acute shortage of teachers in Ebonyi schools

The USAID State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness, Wednesday, lamented the acute shortage of teachers in primary schools in Ebonyi state.

The organisation alongside stakeholders in Ebonyi cried out on the decay in the primary school system.

This was stated during a policy brief meeting on improving the quality of primary education in the state.

It was organised in collaboration with the Ebonyi state Universal Basic Education Board and the NGO, Technology for Transformative Development Foundation (TTD).

The policy dialogue was convened to discuss the issues arising from a baseline assessment of primary schools in the state.

Executive Director of Technology for Transformative Development (TTD), Mr. Ewah Eleri, while presenting a summary of the baseline assessment said the USAID project assessed 327 primary schools in the state and identified key issues that must be urgently addressed.

He identified such issues to include teacher recruitment, school supervision, the provision of learning materials, and the need for a basic education strategy in Ebonyi state. The project was implemented in collaboration with the Ebonyi Universal Basic Education Board.

On his part, the chairman of the National Union of Teachers in Ebonyi state, Comrade Francis Elechi Egwu, noted that there is an acute shortage of teachers in basic education in the state.

“Over several years, teachers that left the service, retired, or died have not been replaced. The result is overcrowded classrooms and poor learning outcomes by pupils,” he asserted.

In his response, the principal secretary to the governor, Chief Emmanuel Obasi, said the issue is not the number of teachers but the allocation of teachers between urban and rural schools.

“Ebonyi has an acceptable pupil-to-teacher ratio, the challenge is the allocation of these teachers to urban and rural schools. While some schools have more than enough teachers, others are grossly understaffed,” he stated.

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