No fewer than 200 primary school head teachers in four local governments of Anambra may be demoted for allegedly selling workbooks to pupils in the state, according to a government official.
Olisah Nzemeka, Executive Chairman, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB), made the disclosure when he addressed journalists on Tuesday in Awka, the state capital.
Nzemeka said the affected head teachers were in Idemili North, Idemili South, Nnewi South and Njikoka Local Government Areas.
He said that the head teachers currently being investigation, were reported by concerned parents, who alleged that they were being forced to pay for workbook.
According to Nzemeka, such payment had been suspended by the state ministry of education and the board since 2017.
He said the head teachers were collecting as much as N2, 200 per child.
The chairman directed that the head teachers must pay the amount collected into their schools’ accounts for refund to the parents.
He explained that the state was running a free education system, saying that the actions of the head teachers amounted to serious breach of the principles of Universal Basic Education (UBE).
“It is necessary to observe that some local government education areas and head teachers flouted government’s directive in the last academic year.
“This is total flagrant disobedience to government’s directive and will be addressed in line with the Public Service Rule.
“They must pay back all monies collected into their schools’ accounts; failure of which all the affected teachers will be demoted to the classrooms,’’ he said.
According to him, ASUBEB will physically supervise the refund of the money to parents through the Parent-Teacher Association.
“We have over 1, 000 primary schools in the state and the bad eggs about 200; we cannot allow them to rubbish the efforts of government.
“We are a free education state and making parents to pay as much as N2, 200 per child in the name of workbook, just because of the N10 they will get from each book, rubbishes the ideals of free education programme.
“Sale of workbook has been suspended since September 2017 and we are still investigating more cases of abuse of the order by our staff,’’ he said.
Nzemeka said that ASUBEB was enabled by law to punish errant teachers; transfer and rationalise teachers; to ensure equitable distribution among schools in the state.