Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has directed that the N1,000 application fee for those seeking employment as teachers in the state’s public secondary schools be cancelled, and that the recruitment forms be given to all applicants for free.
The news comes as more than 5,000 applicants stormed the headquarters of Oyo State Post Primary Schools’ Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) at the state secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, on Tuesday, the first day of the two-week deadline for obtaining and submitting application forms. It would be the first time teachers would be recruited into public secondary schools in the state in the past six years.
Many of the applicants received the news of the cancellation of the recruitment form fee when they arrived at the state secretariat and had queued up for the form. While on the queue, a TESCOM official addressed the applicants that they should go to any of the designated banks, pay N1,000 form fee and bring the tellers to collect the forms. A number of the applicants left the queue and rushed to the banks for the payment. The news of the fee cancellation came when the Executive Chairman of TESCOM, Pastor Akinade Alamu, addressed the applicants that Governor Makinde had directed that the forms should be given to applicants for without charge.
Alamu, who also addressed reporters at the press centre of Oyo State Governor’s Office on the commencement of recruitment exercise, said: “We have received approval from Governor Seyi Makinde that we should recruit 7,000 teachers, 2,000 non-teaching staff, and 1,600 night guards for all the secondary schools in Oyo state.
“Since 2014, there has not been recruitment of teachers in this state. So the recruitment of teachers will strengthen the free education policy of the incumbent administration. The Governor also gave approval for recruitment of night guards to check against theft in our schools and to protect the teachers and students.
“When the Governor was aware that we were to take N1,000 from each applicant as form fee, he gave the directives that the forms should be given free to all applicants all over Oyo state. In his usual compassionate attitude, the Governor said he wouldn’t want people, coming from Saki, Kishi, Oyo, Ogbomoso, or other distant areas to come and pay N1,000 to banks in Ibadan [and] wait for confirmation from the Accountant-General before they come to take the forms from us.
“The Governor said he would not want people to undergo the rigours or difficulties. This is why he directed that the forms should be given to applicants [for] free. We have started that this morning. He also directed that the forms should be given to all the zones in Oyo state. We have six zones, and the head office of TESCOM is the seventh office where the forms would be given to the applicants [for] free.”
Alamu listed TESCOM zonal offices where the forms could be obtained to include: Ibadan Zone I at Leaf Road opposite NTC, Oke-Ado; Ibadan Zone II at Bishop Phillip Academy, Iwo Road; Oyo Zone, opposite the main gate of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo town; Ogbomoso zonal office at Atenda; Saki zonal office at Old Teachers’ College; and the TESCOM office at local government quarters in Eruwa.
“The applicants will have to come with their local government identifications, certificates of origin, to collect the forms [for] free. The local government identification will serve as a form of control. The applicants will fill the forms and submit to us. After the closing of the exercise on February 24th, then we will announce the date for the examination because we expect that there will be so many applicants and we will not be able to face all of them for interview. So, there will be a Computer Based Test (CBT) to prune down the number, and those that are qualified will be invited for the interview after the examination,” he said.
Fielding questions on whether the local government identification was meant to exclude non-indigenes of Oyo state from obtaining the application forms, Alamu responded: “We have a system, which we put in place, whereby you will come with your local government identity card. This will serve as a control. Before you get the form, they we look at your local government identification. The name will be put on our register. We will give you a form on which the number of the form given to you will be recorded in our register. We don’t discriminate in Oyo state. If you are not an indigene of Oyo state, you can obtain the form. But we must know the identity of every applicant taking the forms.”
Alamu also responded to a question on the fate of applicants that had paid N1,000 form fees to banks before Governor Makinde directed that the form fee be cancelled, Alamu said: “Those who went to the bank to pay without clarification from us, we won’t take responsibility for that. The application opens today and we had information that some people started paying into banks since yesterday. Who gave them the account number they paid into? They should go back to the banks and collect their money.”