(By Emmanuel Uzor – ABAKALIKI)
A senior lecturer with Ebonyi State University was suspended over alleged involvement in sexual harassment of students.
The Commissioner for Education Professor John Eke, addressing journalists, also disclosed that four principals of secondary schools were demoted for various misconducts ranging from absenteeism and other acts inconsistent with their mandate.
Eke said the Ministry was investigating the sex scandal rocking schools across the state, adding that one lecturer in the Ebonyi State University had been placed on indefinite suspension pending the outcome of the reports of sex allegations leveled against him.
“We have zero tolerance of sexual harassment on our children. There is a case in the University where a lecturer was suspended and we are investigating the case and the Ministry is now working on that.”
Similarly, the state government said it would ban teachers who are indicted in examination malpractices from supervising WAEC and other external examinations for five years.
Prof. Eke said the state government had put up various measures to dismantle examination malpractices, describing it as worse than the menace of Boko Haram, adding that since assumption of office his ministry, in line with the policy initiatives of governor Umahi’s administration on education, has categorized measures to tackle examination malpractices into short and long term measures, which he said included banning all teachers colluding with students to cheat in internal and external examinations.
Prof. Eke also said the Ministry was conducting examination and competency tests for all teachers in the state to determine the quality of teachers teaching in the schools across the state within weeks.
He said the examination was not only to ascertain the quality and competency of the teachers, but also to ensure aggressive supervision and monitoring, adding that the teachers would be grouped into various groups to ascertain the areas in which the teachers are to be retrained or retooled.
The Commissioner further disclosed that part of the measures necessary to ensure that Ebonyi improves its performance ratings in WAEC and other examinations would be to make it a requirement for students in Senior Secondary schools to pass internal examinations before they would be allowed to register for any external ones.
On the lingering Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) crisis, the Commissioner described the Union in Ebonyi state University as illegal, adding that their tenure had long elapsed, and chided the suspended ASUU leadership for misinforming the staff of the stat-owned institution.