A protest, on Tuesday, rocked Ogun State as at least 1,500 candidates shortlisted as teachers for employment into the State Universal Basic Education Board had their recruitment exchanged for a casual teaching initiative.
It would be recalled that the government had commenced the recruitment of 1,500 teachers in the last quarter of 2019, however, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the exercise.
The demonstrating applicants marched to the Governor’s Office with placards, calling on Governor Dapo Abiodun to release their appointment letters.
The protest came barely 24 hours after the state government announced the new initiative which involved fresh recruitment of teachers that would serve as interns for two years.
The protesters claimed that the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, had once informed them that the release of their appointment letters might not be possible anytime soon because of the paucity of funds.
Speaking with newsmen at the Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat, the applicants expressed fears that the government had subtly cancelled their recruitment for the new approach.
The representative of the protesters, an applicant from Abeokuta South, Yemi Oyeleye, appealed to the governor to consider them for the job, having waited for many months.
Oyeleye said, “What we expected from the government is the completion of the ongoing recruitment, which has taken almost two years now.
“We have been left unattended to; no communication. We are the ones forcing ourselves to hear from them; they refuse to talk to us.
“They sent us congratulatory messages that we have been selected. We are appealing to the governor to give us our appointment letters.”
Reacting to the development, the State Chairman of the education board, Dr Femi Majekodunmi, denied cancellation of the process. He added that the delay was due to paucity of funds.
In a brief chat with Punch, he said:
“This is a kind of interim thing. It is a contract for two years. We have not cancelled their recruitment.
“But, if they want to partake in this new recruitment, they are free to take part. The government did not forget them.”