The Executive Secretary, Anambra State Basic Education Board, Mr. Chuma Mbonu, has lamented the shortage of nomadic teachers in the state, noting that this may hinder government?s plan of achieving rapid educational growth.
Speaking during a recent fact-finding mission of the Nomadic Education Commission to Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states, Mbonu said the location of nomadic schools in remote rural areas, coupled with lack of modern amenities in areas where nomadic education centres were established, posed a major challenge to educating the children of nomads.
He said, ?Many of the youths are afraid of the difficult terrain in which nomadic schools are located,?? adding ?We are doing everything we can to encourage nomadic teachers.??
He said the board had already advised the state government to provide hazard allowance for teachers posted to remote areas where there were no potable water and electricity.
Although the state, according to him, is complying with the directive of spending 2.5 per cent of the basic education budget on nomadic education, he said it was more costly to build nomadic schools in riverine areas because of the logistics of carrying building materials in canoe or speed boat over a long distance.
In spite of the challenges, Mbonu said the commission had established eight pastoral schools, 42 migrant fishermen schools and 40 migrant farmers? schools in the state. Out of the 782 teachers in the nomadic schools, he said 108 were paid by the community.
Also, the Headmistress of Egede Migrant Farmers School in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state, Mrs. Theresa Ikegbunam, stressed the problem of inadequate teachers in nomadic schools.
There are fears that this development may prevent Nigeria from meeting the global target of Education for All by 2015. Apart from the absence of modern amenities in most rural areas which often discourage teachers from going to the rural areas, there is also the problem of the attitude of the pastoralists and migrant farmers.
According to Ikegbunam, many pastoralists withdraw their children from school so that they could help in taking the cattle for grazing. ?Many of the migrant farmers also withdraw their boys from school and take them to the farm,?? she observed.
But the Anambra State Coordinator of Nomadic Education, Mrs. Kate Nkem, said in spite of the challenges, the commission would still build three model centres in each of the states.
In Ebonyi State, the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Chief Michael Ogbuzuru, said the state was committed to achieving rapid educational growth.
However, the state has no school for pastoralists. According to the South East Zonal Coordinator of the Nomadic Education Commission, Mr. Emmanuel Udum, there are no nomadic schools in the area, because the state could not persuade the Fulani to put their children together in a school.