Teachers in Abia state are undergoing COVID-19 tests preparatory to resumption of public and private schools in the state on Monday. The test according to a statement by the Ministry of Health was in accordance with the state government’s directive for teachers in both public and private schools and school proprietors in the state to submit themselves for the COVID-19 test.
This is even as the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has ordered the sacking of about 5,600 teachers alleged to have been fraudulently
employed by the Executive Secretary of Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB), Lawrence Ogbonna.
The test it was gathered was to ascertain before the resumption of schools who among the proprietors and teachers had the virus in order
to keep the students free and healthy from the deadly coronavirus. Some teachers were seen at the Amachara General Hospital Isolation
Center, Umuahia complying with the state government’s directive.
A testing officer from the Ministry of Health, Mr. Nwadiche commended teachers who had shown up for the test and advised others yet to
present themselves for the test to do so, noting that some may be asymptomatic without knowing it and they go about infecting others
with the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, Governor Ikpeazu has sacked all the 5,666 people employed by SEMB without waiver as teachers, saying they were employed
unlawfully. Ikpeazu equally compulsorily retired the SEMB boss, Ogbonna over
alleged employment racketeering. Ogbonna who had been on suspension since February when the incident was blown open was according to a release by the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the governor, Anthony Agbazuere accused of fraudulently employing 5,853 people as teachers between 2018 and 2020 out of which only 187 were given a waiver by the governor.
The released requested schools that have need for teachers in some special areas to make their submissions to the Commissioner for Education and copy the Chief of Staff to the Governor. The release did not give hint if the retired SEMB Executive Secretary would be prosecuted.