Shortage of Mathematics Teachers Cause of Poor Performance of Students-Expert

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The unimpressive performance of students in Mathematics has been blamed on the dearth of qualified Teachers in the subject.

This is the assertion of the Chief Executive Officer the National Mathematical Centre, Professor Stephen Onah.

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Professor lamented that most  school proprietors engage the services of those who are not professional Teachers to teach the students, which as also resulted in poor performance of students in external examinations.

“The other factor is that because there are no enough hands to train students in this discipline persons from different areas of study even outside science based areas are brought to teach the subject.

“ Because the WAEC and NECO which are of international standard will not lower their standard because Nigeria has not enough hands or qualified teachers to train its students.

“They will always maintain their standard and so, if we are not living up to that standard, that explains our poor performances,’’

Prof. Onah also lamented that the imbalance in the ratio of Teachers to students, made teaching effectively, difficult., while calling for the increase in   incentives for Mathematics Teachers.

Show Appreciation

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Cultivate the habit of saying ”Thank you”.

Regardless of how little a gift is, one should cultivate the habit of showing appreciation.Children receive gifts from their Mothers, Fathers, Teachers and other relatives or friends. But children must be careful not to receive gifts from strangers.
Children also receive gifts at different occasions. For instance in the school, pupils/stud nets receive gifts at the end of year activities for punctuality and excellent academic performance.

Kenya: A Mandera Teacher Made Sh1.5 Million From Selling Leaked Exam

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The main source of leaked national examination papers last year was a teacher in Mandera County, a confidential government report has revealed.

The deputy principal of a school in Wargadud, near El Wak on the Kenya-Ethiopia border, confessed to Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) investigators how he had planned to steal the exam since July last year with the collusion of police officers from the region.

According to the report by KNEC and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, the teacher also detailed how the exam was distributed to his students, who then forwarded it to their friends in Nairobi via mobile phones.

Also involved in the scheme was a student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, who distributed it widely on behalf of the teacher, also raking in millions of shillings.

Although the report, dated December 5, 2015, says that the teacher was arrested, he has not been charged to date despite giving a secretly recorded confession to criminal investigations officers.

The student, on the other hand, was arrested on Wednesday last week but has yet to be arraigned.

A source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told the Nation that the student had been driven to Nyamira, where he is accused of widely distributing photocopies of the leaked exam papers for a fee.

EXAM DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM LOOPHOLES

The findings of the confidential report paint a picture of an exam distribution system that is rife with loopholes. It also questions the wisdom of using police stations as storage centres because this is where the first leakages occur.

The report also exposes the weakness of the KNEC seals system, which the teacher said was “not quite secure as people think.”

In a video recording of the confession, the teacher is seen breaching the seal, taking out exam papers and then resealing the whole package with considerable ease.

The teacher hatched the plot to access the exam papers after realising that his students had not adequately covered the syllabus “due to absence of teachers.” Many teachers had fled the region last year due to terrorist attacks.

The teacher approached a policeman in the area, who linked him up with the officer in charge of the armoury at the police station where exam papers would be stored.

The three hatched a plot where for Sh60,000 a week, one of the police officers would break the seals of exam packages and take photos of question papers using an iPad before resealing the whole package using special glue.

The teacher then approached his KCSE exam candidates, 115 in all, and asked each to pay Sh5,000 for the leaked papers.

The head boy collected the money and handed it over to a teacher at the school, who then handed it over to the deputy principal.

For the entire duration of the examination, the police officer in charge of the armoury passed the material photographed to the teacher in a memory card, earning a total of Sh240,000.

He and his colleague showed the teacher how to break the seals in the second week of the examination, when he informed them that he had been impressed by their expertise and would like to know how they did it.

Other than distributing the exam to his students, the deputy principal sent it to a colleague in Nairobi, who in return sent him a total of Sh200,000, the report shows.

Investigators obtained the bank and M-Pesa statements of the deputy principal. The records show that in the period of the exam, the teacher received payments worth about Sh1.5 million, via his Co-operative Bank and M-Pesa accounts.

“Despite the overwhelming evidence,” reads the report, “it is not possible to effectively prosecute the teacher… since he destroyed all the evidence by burning his mobile phone and iPad.”

It is this last admission that most worries the investigators, who say that absence of hard evidence to convict suspects in court means their investigations do not amount to much.

Source : Daily Nation

INDISCIPLINE IN NIGERIAN SCHOOLS : BLAME GOVT.-PROF. OLAGOKE

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An ugly trend has reared its head in secondary schools in different parts of Nigeria, students alongside hired thugs, now beat up Teachers, who punish the students for wrongdoing. In this interview with Federationews2day, Founder of Shafaudeen worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke in this interview blames the trends on the erosion of societal values. Excerpts :

Students in secondary schools now beat up their Teachers, what do you think is wrong ?

Even we have to pity the students generally, that we are still having some of them been brilliant and performing excellently well in their various examinations they attempt, because of what they hear in the news and the exposure of most of the people that have governed us by one way or the other, regarding how fraudulent they have been, these  are enough points of distraction. That atmosphere has created all these distraction. That atmosphere has created all these laxities we are now talking about. Those days Teachers were semi-gods, in fact they were greater in reverence than the parents of the students. But now government in its wisdom removed discipline from schools. Most Teachers are owed salaries, motivation is out of it now. And the environment, conducive environment for learning is no more there. Everybody goes about with transfer of aggression and so things have fallen apart, with due respect to the late Prof. Chinua Achebe, the centre can no longer hold, this is the situation, we are now having  in  various schools. How do you explain cases of children carted away, the Chibok  girls. How do you explain a  situation where the schools security have fallen to as point where kidnappers, would just come and carry some students away, now demanding N20 million or N10 million. This is a fall out of the fact that there is break down of law and order through institutional indiscipline. The only thing is to return sanity to the schools, bringing back the era of discipline  and ensuring that Teachers are motivated.

And above all, parents of such pupils or students must cooperate with the Teachers and school authorities in order that we do not allow indiscipline to take over the arena of our educational frontiers.

Four Months Unpaid Teachers’ Salaries : Oyo Govt Should Act Quickly-NUT Chairman

Teachers in Oyo state have expressed worries over their four months unpaid salaries, just as they lamented that it has become difficult to meet their domestic responsibilities.

The Teachers spoke through the Chairman Nigeria Union of Teachers(NUT), Comrade Niyi Akano in a chat with Federationews2day.

The Teachers appealed to the state government to take urgent steps to save them from the unbearable hardships, they are presently experiencing.

”In Teaching, the Primary school Teachers have collected their December, expecting their January salaries. But it is a very sad situation for those in Secondary schools, because as the month of February ends today now, Secondary school Teachers have a backlog of four months to be paid by government, secondary school Teachers received salaries last in October, 2015,  they Grades levels 1 to 6 collected salaries in November, but do we have any Teacher on Grades level 1 to 6, so that would just affect the non Teaching staff and some others. So it is a very sad situation. I appreciate Teachers in secondary schools because of the zeal for their profession, they hold it as a calling. You can imagine them going to work punctually, because we keep on appealing to them and they are doing it. Burt at the same time, I am just appealing to the Government to please do something, four months, we have some homes where you have both Daddy and Mummy, in the secondary system, how do you think the home would be ? So, I appealing to the government to do something about it, very quickly, so that the input will justify the output”.

 

 

Zimbabwe: Govt Pays Teachers, but Deducts U.S.$40 Per Individual

TEACHERS are up in arms against the government which has started deducting 7.5% employee pension contributions without notifying them.

The deductions were reflected in the December salaries which they started receiving Tuesday after the pay date was shifted on several occasions.

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The move by the government comes after it has stopped paying public service members some transport and housing allowances and also directed parents to stop teacher’s non-monetary incentives.

Student teachers’ allowances were also reduced.

Teachers get between $200 and $400 per month.

Teachers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday said they were shocked that figures between $38 and $40 were deducted from their December salaries.

“I went to the bank in the morning and when I tried to withdraw all my pay and pay my credits I was told by the bank teller that my money was not enough.

“I was told it was $40 less,” said a teacher.

The situation was the same with most teachers who were withdrawing their salaries from various banks.

Commenting on that development, Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said they are shocked by the government move as the deductions have come earlier than anticipated.

“We have been receiving such reports as from early morning Tuesday from our members complaining about such an insensitive move by the government.

“Government is aware that teachers are lowly paid and deducting such an amount is real unfortunate and worrisome,” said Ndlovu.

He added: “What is even shocking is that the government has instituted such a move before the start of the financial year. Remember the government also cut some allowances for teachers.”

A Bulawayo headmaster who spoke to Newzimbabwe.com said he saw his colleagues weeping after they discovered that $40 had been deducted from their salaries.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamsa, a few months ago, announced that government was going to stop paying civil servants’ pension contributions to the Public Service Pension Scheme, having taken the responsibility since 2009.

The move, according to Chinamasa, is meant to reduce the government wage bill and “steer economic growth”.

Bus fare on government buses was also re-introduced, funding for bridging courses was scrapped for all civil servants.

The teacher’s salaries are very low but were augmented by benefits.

Last week, ZIMTA warned of the anger among the teachers saying it will not be held responsible for any form of violent behaviour that  might result as a result of government’s failure to pay wages on time.

There is anger among the civil society groups and opposition parties at the fact that while civil servants were spending their festive season without salaries President Mugabe and his family were enjoying their annual holiday in the Far East at the tax payer’s expense.

Education minister Lazarus Dokora said government was going to fulfill its promise of paying all civil servants their salaries.

Source : New Zimbabwe

South Africa: Report Confirms Influence in Appointment of Teachers

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Pretoria — Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday briefed media on the interim report submitted by a ministerial task team set up to probe allegations of selling of teachers’ posts.

The Minister said the report confirmed there is corruption and undue influence in the appointment of teachers and school principals, there are weaknesses in the system and that the authority of the state and powers of certain stakeholders in the appointment process would need to be reviewed.

The interim report follows allegations of widespread corrupt practices involving the irregular appointment of educators across provinces, districts and schools.

“The basis of the investigation by the task team was to inquire into and report to allegations made in the media regarding the alleged irregular appointment of educators at schools, and the role played by any union and by officials of provincial education departments in these alleged irregular appointments,” said Minister Motshekga.

She said the task team probed a total of 75 cases, 30 of which provided grounds for reasonable suspicion or wrongdoing.

“The report we have received is still an interim report at this stage but it has uncovered some very concerning tendencies that are being perpetuated in the appointment of teachers and principals.”

She said the department was therefore unable to release the full details of the report because it was at a sensitive stage.

The interim report indicates that government systems have created a situation that allows exploitation of the system, which compromises proper appointments in critical posts such as those of school principals.

This, said Minister Motshekga, has undermined government’s ability to deliver by allowing unions to have a stranglehold on government whereby they call the shots.

“This practice cannot be allowed to continue. As a department, we will engage all our stakeholders and ensure that we put in place a more stringent regime that will allow only those who qualify and are competent to be appointed.

“Merit must be the only determining factor when it comes to appointments, particularly in our schools,” said Minister Motshekga.

She said the ministerial task team was of the view that the dominant influence of unions in the appointment process was made possible by the “feeble and dilatory condition” of districts and circuits.

“There is no doubt that this has permitted unions to move into areas in which they have no business. But now, through the inexorable creeping of nepotism, these sectors of government are as subject to undue influence as every other sector.

“The task team worked through many cases and in the process found that there is evidence of wrong doing. It is for this reasons that a forensic investigation is still continuing. This situation cannot be allowed to persist and I must say that there will be consequences.”

She said the police will be contacted and arrests could follow.

“We believe it is not just about the selling of posts but protecting the sector and maintaining its professionalism in order to ensure quality and efficiency in the education system,” she said.

The task team has also made recommendations that will have implications on the way the department does business. Some of the recommendations need thorough consideration and would be affected through the normal policy processes.

The Minister said once the final report has been submitted and input obtained from stakeholders in the sector, the department will proceed to make the necessary changes required to strengthen systems.

“We will use this report and the recommendations therein to remediate the system and ensure that we bring this rot that has infiltrated education under control.

“This blatant exploitation and corruption will not be tolerated. We commit ourselves to take this report very seriously and take the strongest possible action to ensure that learners’ needs are the priority in education. I need to add that the report will be taken to Cabinet and Parliament for consideration,” said Minister Motshekga.

Source : SA News