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How Makinde Pulled Off A Pan Nigerian Merit Based Unity Coup In TESCOM’s Recruitment Of 5000 Teachers

The Oasis Reporters

November 13, 2021

By Greg Abolo

Gov Seyi Makinde (left ), inspecting schools.

Education had fallen to the doldrums in Oyo the pacesetter state, long before Engr. Seyi Makinde became governor.

Everyone saw the problem, but many fell short of identifying what the right solution should be. At a point in the history of Oyo, even insurgency wreaked Bornu state was beating the State hands down in WAEC performance ratings. It was that bad.

Then governor Ajimobi was not comfortable one bit. But he was always at loggerheads with teachers and he would usually mock the leaders of the teacher’s union, especially those who could not express themselves in well spoken English or those that mixed their tenses up.

But then, the Ajimobi led government could not pay salaries regularly or on time. The imagination to make governance work financially was lacking.

What Ajimobi angrily did was to insist that students who failed either English or mathematics must repeat that session. That reaction was bitterly criticized in Oyo State. Even parents cried at the plight of their children. Still the problem remained unsolved.

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (right) at a school in Isokun .

Therefore while Seyi Makinde was exploring ways to formulate his campaign focus, he saw a poster on a wall. An IJMB informal class was flaunting it’s credentials in an Agbowo neighborhood. Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan is at Agbowo. Many JAMB or WAEC tutorials classes are sited there. Such classes offer students intensive coaching to enable them scale the academic hurdles into various ivy league universities.

Then they display past achievements of the number of students they had coached who gained admission into a particular university, and their scores would be flaunted. Those became the magnet in their advertisement fliers. Makinde carefully read one and noticed that the teachers running such classes or informal schools were graduates from diverse states of Nigeria.

His mind was made up. Therefore when he eventually won the election and became governor, he instructed the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) to advertise for the employment of teachers bases on merit.

Many qualified teachers who would have loved to join the teaching service of Oyo State did not apply because they are not indigenous to Oyo State. Those that took the bull by the horns and applied were pleasantly surprised that they were chosen. No one cared what their State of origin was.

Today they are earning regular salaries on government salary scales having been employed on merit.

With this move, Oyo has broken from most states that would employ only indigenes of their state. 5000 teachers are happy to be added to the population of teachers in Oyo state, with the mandate to turn the educational fortunes of the state around.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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