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We won’t condone misconduct, truancy – ENSUBEB justifies dismissal of five teachers

By admin Mar 24, 2024
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The Chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB), Dr Gabriel Ajah, has dismissed allegation of unjust sacking of five teachers in the Board’s employ, saying the agency always ensures strict adherence to due process in meting out sanctions to errant academic and non-academic staff.

DAILY POST reports that this is coming after the dismissed teachers tendered written apology, admitting wrongdoing.

Ajah reiterated the Board’s commitment to upholding discipline and code of conduct, which he said would ensure improved standard of education in the state.

He stated this in Enugu at the weekend while making clarifications over the allegation that one Mrs. Ujunwa Onyia and four other teachers were unjustly dismissed by ENSUBEB over their supposed agitation for teachers’ minimum wage in the state.

It was earlier alleged that the said teachers were sacked over their agitation for the payment of N30,000 minimum wage.

But speaking to newsmen in his office at the weekend, the ENSUBEB Chairman described the allegation as a mere fabrication, stating that the teachers were among those queried and found culpable over reports of misconduct, truancy, absence from duty without permission, insubordination and other acts, which contravene the Public Service Rules.

Ajah stressed that the misconduct and insubordinate attitudes of Mrs. Onyia were only one out of the 13 such cases treated by the Board at its meeting.

He said it was disingenuous to link the disciplinary action with any minimum wage agitation, as the extension of N30,000 minimum wage to primary school teachers was promptly approved by Governor Peter Mbah and equally paid in their February salaries after many years of waiting.

He displayed an apology letter by Mrs. Ujunwa Onyia and four others pleading for a recall to service, having realised their misconducts and mistakes.

Part of the apology letter reads, “I and my other four colleagues would like to sincerely apologise for our recent breach of communication channels according to the Civil service rule.

“We realise that our actions were disrespectful and inappropriate and we are deeply sorry for any offense or embarrassment we may have caused.

“We realise that our actions may have affected the trust and confidence that you and the Board have in us. We will do everything in our power to regain your trust and prove that we are valuable members of the school Community.

“We are committed to working hard to improve our conduct and make amends for our mistakes.”

Meanwhile the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Enugu State Chapter, has expressed gratitude to Governor Peter Mbah for paying the N30,000 minimum wage to primary School teachers in the state.

The NUT stressed that the union did not support acts of indiscipline and wilful breach of the Enugu State Civil Service Rules by teachers in Enugu State, clarifying that the sanctioned teachers were not members of NUT executive in the state and did not also consult with the body before embarking on the actions that earned them the disciplinary action.

The Enugu NUT Chairman, Comrade Theophilus Nweke pledged total support of the teachers for Governor Mbah’s effort to turn the education sector of the state around.

“When the current administration came in, we met with them and presented our challenges to the governor who promised to address them.

“True to his word the governor quickly set up a committee to look into the issues, they submitted their report in which it was recommended that these teachers be paid.

“The Governor called the leadership of NUT and conveyed the approval of the full implementation of the minimum wage. When the February salary came,the teachers were paid as approved and this was greeted with wide jubilation which you saw on social media.

“The governor equally promised and started paying wage awards to us apart from the salaries since 2023. And he said this would continue in order to cushion the effects of the present economic crunch on teachers until a new minimum wage is approved for the state’s civil servants,” he said.

Nweke said the least expected of them as teachers was to reciprocate the governor’s gestures through dedication to duty and highly ethical conduct.

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