The Ondo State Government on Tuesday warned the teachers in the state against using pupils for private work, in their homes or farms.
The government said any teacher caught in the act will be heavily sanctioned, saying pupils are supposed to be in school to study not to help any teacher to do private work.
The Special Adviser to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Special Duties, Dr. Doyin Adebowale, gave the warning in Akure, the state capital.
He advised teachers to hire workers to work in their farms instead of using pupils, urging them to desist from using pupils to work in the private farms under the guise of practicals for agricultural studies.
He said, “We gathered that some teachers in schools in rural areas have formed the habit of using pupils to work in their private farms under the guise of doing agricultural practicals. Some send female pupils to be cooking for them.
“We are sending a warning to teachers to desist from such act. Our office will not hesitate to prosecute any teacher found abusing our children.
“The government is not asking the teachers not to instill discipline. The government does not interfere in the running of schools but we insist the pupils must participate in agricultural practicals in the school farms. We are going to monitor the schools and whoever is found wanting will be sanctioned.
“We will follow the law to sanction teachers, If you take pupils home to go and cook for you, to work on your private farms.
We will invoke the law, We recognised the sacrifice of genuine teachers. We insist that nobody will take advantage of our children.
He added that whoever is caught will not find it funny.
However, the Chairman of the state’s chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr. Victor Akomo, described the allegations as untrue, saying teachers no longer use pupils for domestic chores in the digital age.
“Teachers don’t do that again. We do not believe it is happening in our schools. We have extra lessons and no time for the pupils to go to any home. It might be speculation. However, we are in support to sanction teachers caught.”