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Ghost Students: Akwa Ibom govt. debunks inflation enrollment claim

Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel.

The Akwa Ibom State government has debunked the allegations that Principals and Heads of Public Secondary and Primary schools in the state inflate students enrollment figures to get more subvention from government.

It was gathered that in public schools especially in some rural areas in Uruan and Oruk Anam local government areas among others, some Principals and Primary School Heads inflate the number of students enrollment.

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It was learnt that the heads of such schools do this to boost their chances of getting more money from the subvention government pays per student in each public school across the state, in keeping with the free education policy of the state government.

Some of the aggrieved teachers allege that the school heads make them to mark an inflated register of students every school day, set and mark the examination papers and record the results of the said students but give them no financial inducement in return for their work.

They claim that the extra money the school heads get from the subventions on the inflated school enrollment figure could have soothed their frayed nerves owing to the increased work load, undue strain and pressure they are made to undergo because of the ghost students.

However, the Commissioner of Education, Prof Nse Essien said , tuesday, in Uyo said that there was no truth to the allegations as the government gives subvention to school heads based on the record of head count of students it gets from the State Secondary Education Board (SSEB), State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and State Technical  School Board (STSB).

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Helen Anthony Ante who spoke on behalf of the commissioner said the government  does not rely on the school heads for the enrollment  figures to avoid a hike, adding that it confirms the figures every year through the list of admitted students.

She said the ministry is currently monitoring the compliance level of teachers and students in school attendance for the new school year, and revealed that the state government recently recruited 3,000 school teachers who have just resumed work for the new school year.

“We don’t get the enrollment figures from schools because if you get it from them, the tendency is there for them to hike it up. So we know the number of enrollment  in our schools.

“We do head count and confirm it every year, even those who have been admitted in the school this year through our placement. We go from school to school to do the head count so that we know those who have reported in  various schools.

“The allegation is baseless. We take statistics of both teachers and students from all the schools we visited to cross check with what we have, knowing that it is a new school year. Recently, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) recruited 3,000 teachers,” she said.

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