Cross River: 31 school principals to face suspension, demotion 

In its determination to sanitise the education system in Cross River, the state government has said 31 principals of secondary schools would face suspension and demotion for incompetence and various cases of misconduct.

 The Commissioner for Education, Senator Stephen Odey, who made this known in a press conference in Calabar, Tuesday, stated  that the affected principals had earlier been referred to a disciplinary committee which subsequently recommended punishment after finding them culpable of various untoward acts.

“The recommendation of the disciplinary committee has been submitted and will be implemented. Some of the principals will be dropped for being incompetent and some will be redeployed to classrooms as a punishment,” he stated.

On the rumour making the rounds that the lists of indigenous students who the state government was paying WAEC fees for were padded by the education authorities, the commissioner said the rumour were unfounded and totally false.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to debunk in totality the allegation that the list of students for WAEC was padded. It was never padded and it can never happen under my watch.

“It will never happen because I was sent to this ministry on trust and I will never betray that trust. I cannot come here to rubbish my integrity and of course, no director under me can even attempt it.”

 The commissioner, who said he would leave the ministry better than he met it, noted that the government had completed plans to go after illegal schools across the state, adding “it cannot be business as usual, we shall close them down until they come here and do proper registration.”

Odey said he had already written to the governor to implement promotion of teachers as well as employing new ones considering the deficiency in the number of teachers in the state and the huge amount the government had paid for registration of students in WAEC.

He said: “We cannot have a positive result in WAEC if we don’t have teachers to teach these students. You cannot give what you do not have. Due to the lean resources of the state, we have appealed to the governor to grant us the approval to employ at least 6,000 teachers for the first phase, and as the finances of the state increases, we can do more.”

He said his team was ready to implement the 2024 budget estimates for the ministry, which he said is the highest in the state, adding, “since the budget has been passed and assented to by the governor, we are appealing that funds be released to us to enable the ministry deliver on its mandate on time.”