For the fourth time within the space of two weeks, the Delta State Education Commissioner, Mrs Rose Ezewu, has return to the trenches, this time, hurling allegations on secondary school principals, teachers and Chief Inspectors of Education (CIEs), in reaction to allegations of forcefully selling both Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s portrait and hers for a whooping sum of N20, 000 each.
Also, allegations of setting up a taskforce to monitor compliance by them, triggered her hot verbal exchange at a media interaction with some journalists where she said that “some principals and teachers are extorting money from parents and students between N30, 000 to N80, 000 for admission”.
But in her bid to counter them, she made several grammatical errors, thereby shooting herself in the foot.
Hear her: “I have to storm schools, I have constitute (constituted) a taskforce to storm schools and (the) taskforce as I am talking to you, they are going round.
“Some of the teachers, they don’t want to teach, they just come to school, stay as they like and leave. I even direct (directed) … in helping them by making morning assembly and closing assembly so that they can get their teachers on hand (ground) to do whatever thing they want to do, impact knowledge into our students.
“This extortion thing I was (am) fighting against, that is why some of them were (are) trying to say they want to fight me the Honourable Commissioner.
“You can’t be taking N40, 000, N30, 000 for admission. I have demoted some of the principals and brought in the one from other smaller school to head some of these schools.
Asked if they could record her, she said: “You can have it on record, the truth is just what I am saying. When I came in, are you seeing me (do I look) as someone that will go to school and start extorting principals? How much are they going to give to me?
“This morning when you came in here, if you put your eyes down (if you observed carefully), you will see me shouting on (at) two principals.
“Most of them they are just after their own extortion there and when the Honourable Commissioner storms the school to stop such situation, they will be ranting and telling that (saying that) they want to kick against me.
“What extortion do I want to extort? Go to the school to go and take money from you or what? What do I need it for? I don’t take rubbish as you see me here so.
“Any school you find yourself, go and build your school. What is the reason we (what is the essence of establishing PTA collections for you) are giving you people PTA? We approved PTA collection for them to assist the government, the MORE Agenda (to assist the government’s MORE Agenda) so that if there is little things (so that if there are little things) in your school you can amend with the PTA, you can do it.
“My PS is around, he approve (approved) it for them and … principals of schools, you know the right admission fee, you know what you are suppose to take as a principal but you are taking above what government say (says) you should take.
“Tomorrow, people will say the MORE Agenda, is not constituting (does not include free education) a free education.
“Last, our …. during the SMART Agenda, I raised a memo which they step (stepped) down, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, said no the society is not as good as it is. Let them be paying the meager amount, N1050, N1250 for new admission.
“Some of you are parents here, you have relations in various Schools, maybe you have heard one information or the other that my child I paid N18, 000, my child I paid N30, 000 is it the Honourable Commissioner?
“I don’t have it that is why I told a principal here come and … I don’t collect money for admission, I don’t put children in the school, it’s you people that are taking so when I here (heard) all those stories they are talking about the Honourable Commissioner, I just laugh (laughed) because my hands are (clean) clear”.
Asked whether there have been any instance(s) the ministry has gone after school principals who collects above the stipulated amount, she said: “is it not the taskforce we are using that they are trying to turn (turn around the narrative or turn around against us) the this thing on us?
“That we are using taskforce to extort them, what sort of taskforce? If you can go to Central now or North here, you will see the way our taskforce are working. They are going round schools, checkmating their lesson notes and other things. Can I do it all as Honourable Commissioner?
“This taskforce are educationist, they are insiders, they can assist us in checkmating their (lesson notes) note of lessons, checkmating the teacher (teachers) to see that they are in the school doing their rightful job (jobs) as (teachers) a teacher, impacting (knowledge) knowledges into the children.
“So, I don’t know the one of education that is so sensitive that they (felt) feel we (constituted) constitute a taskforce and taskforce is doing that, is doing that that that. I don’t really understand (it) there. Nbody is extorting them, I have told you the begining of the story and I think you know it better.
“Most people don’t want to face the media because the media (go) goes beyond what the Honourable Commissioner will say or the other. They don’t go exactly what you told them. That is why you see all these people are shelving away from all these medias”.
It would be recall that The Story, has reported that as the 2023/2024 academic calendar settles down in public secondary schools in Delta State, while it mark joy for teachers to welcome pupils and students entering new classes or stages in their academic life, the reverse seem the case for principals and Chief Inspectors of Education (CIEs), who are not only groaning the pains of the subsidy removal but what they described as massive extortion.
Findings revealed that secondary school principals in the State are being allegedly forced to purchase the portrait of the State governor, Oborevwori for the sum of N20, 000 payable into an undisclosed bank account by Mrs. Rose Ezewu, the State Commissioner for secondary education.
It was learnt that aside the portrait of the governor, the Secondary Education Commissioner’s portrait, is also compulsory and must be placed in strategic places and offices in their various schools.