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The Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board has uncovered over 248 fake teachers in nine local government areas of the state.
Following the ongoing personal audit of teachers in the state by SUBEB, it was discovered that the bulk of the exposed teachers were in the nine LGAs out of the 18 council areas where the audit of teachers had been completed.
Those found culpable had fake certificates while others were ghost teachers, dead teachers whose salaries were still being drawn on monthly basis, among others.
A top official of SUBEB, who preferred anonymity, confirmed that over 248 fake teachers had been uncovered in the nine LGAs screened.
“The facts are there, we will disclose the total number of fake teachers at the end of the audit exercise. But so far, 248 have been uncovered in nine LGAs,” he said.
The discovery had pitched the state wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers against SUBEB on the claims that the audit process was fraught with victimisation.
The leadership of NUT had protested to the state House of Assembly calling for an immediate suspension of the ongoing audit of teachers.
However, in a bid to settle the rift, the House of Assembly waded into the matter by initially suspending the audit exercise, but after a meeting with the feuding parties, SUBEB was directed to continue with the personnel audit of teachers in the state primary school sector.
Our correspondent learnt on Friday that SUBEB was also mandated to sack those found to be parading fake certificates.
Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Mr. Friday Okpechi, had while resolving the issue between SUBEB and NUT, said the audit exercise would continue in the remaining nine LGAs that had yet to be screened.
While calling on SUBEB to announce new dates and time for the continuation of the personnel audit exercise in the remaining LGAs, Okpechi cautioned that the teachers be given fair hearing.
He further directed the SUBEB Chairman, Dr. Stephen Odey, to return seized original certificates to their rightful owners.
“Sufficient and timely radio and television announcements should be made to inform teachers of the requirements necessary for the smooth conduct of the exercise. The panel should not request for school fees receipts as prerequisite for screening,” he added.
The Okpechi-led committee also told the SUBEB chairman to immediately constitute a fresh screening panel to include NUT, ALGON and the Ministry of Education.
“The board should announce amnesty or give a time frame for fake certificate holders to surrender such certificates to the screening panel or face the consequence of dismissal if the panel on its own verifies that such certificates tendered are forged,” he noted.
The state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Goddy Etta, who was also present at the committee meeting with the feuding parties, commended the thorough job so far carried out by SUBEB.