Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has said that his government will not sack any teacher in the state, with effect from January 2018.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Governing Councils of the Isaac Boro College of Education, Sagbama, and the Bayelsa State College of Health Technology, Otuogidi, respectively, Dickson gave the assurance that the government will train and retrain primary and secondary school teachers in the state for greater productivity.
The governor said that only teachers with fake certificates and those who had formed the habit of staying away from the workplace should be worried about losing their jobs.
He urged the leaders of the new governing councils and their members to ensure that only people who should be in the institutions are engaged.
Dickson warned that the government would no longer tolerate the situation where the names of unborn children, octogenarians and retirees are dubiously included in the payrolls of schools in the state.
He said the government would provide grants to all state-owned tertiary institutions, with effect from January 2018, as well as enhance their revenue, generating capacity and improve their infrastructure.
He said, “You are self-accounting and self-governing, but we will give you grants as you have proposed. We expect you to sit down with your management and get only those staff that you need to run effective courses and programmes. Indeed, the only constant factor is the academic factor because they are academic institutions. You need more academic staff.
“The former ways of opening gates of employment to everybody, including unborn children, people who stay away in other places and are collecting money, people who are as old as 80 years or more, who should have retired, have to stop. You have to save that money for your institutions.
“You must take firm decisions as a council. This year will witness a lot of training for all cadres of public servants, especially teachers. Our policy is not to sack any teacher unless they don’t go to work, unless they have fake certificates, or they have committed any other acts of misconduct.
“Our policy from this year is to ensure that teachers go through the period of training and retraining. There is already a bill before the House of Assembly that would mandate certification for all teachers in all schools in this state.”
The governor mandated the newly-inaugurated boards to ensure that the capacity of the two institutions is strengthened.
Dickson, who noted that all courses at the Niger Delta University, Amassoma, had been accredited, gave stakeholders the assurance that the government would work hard to secure accreditation for the programmes in all its higher institutions in order to attract more students.
According to the governor, the state College of Education will not only be affiliated to the NDU to enable it become a degree-awarding institution, but it will also play a critical role in the training and retraining of teachers.
In their responses, the chairman of the Governing Council of the Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education, Chief Thompson Okorotie, and his College of Health Technology counterpart, Senator Rufus Inatimi-Spiff, expressed gratitude to Dickson for the appointment.
They promised to do their best in order not to fail in their new responsibilities.
Okorotie commended the governor for his legacy in the education sector, especially with the establishment of the University of Africa, the Ijaw National Academy and other model secondary schools in Bayelsa.