Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has suspended 16 teachers at Elo High School, Ayetoro Ekiti, for allegedly using their pupils as labourers on their farms during school hours.
He has also ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter.
Fayose gave the directive in Ado Ekiti while receiving the report of a team led by the Deputy Governor, Dr Kolapo Olusola, that went to the school for a preliminary investigation.
According to a statement on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, the governor took the action following complaints from parents that their children were being made by some of their teachers to work on their farms during school hours.
The statement read partly, “Some of the affected students, who were brought to the Government House, Ado Ekiti, said under the guise of doing practical agriculture, their teachers took them to their private farms at least twice a week during official hours to work for at least 30 minutes.
“One of them, Oluyeye Femi, a JSS 3 pupil, said though the school has a farm where pupils are expected to work once a week, some teachers capitalise on that to take them to their private farms to weed and make heaps.
“A member of the National Youth Service Corps posted to the school, Miss Giredana Enogha, said when she got to the school last June, the situation was like a farm settlement. She added that the pupils were not encouraged to do any other thing than to go to farm all day.”
The governor, who was angered by the report, ordered at least 80 per cent of the teachers be transferred from the school.
He said, “This is sheer slavery. The teachers mentioned must be suspended immediately. The principal, who just got there two months ago, is exempted.
“But the former principal, who has been posted to somewhere in Ilasa Ekiti, must be investigated as well. Those that have taught in the school since 2012 must be investigated.
“Any teacher who uses pupils as farm workers will have himself to blame. That is slavery and I will tackle it. Pupils are taken to farms under the guise of doing agricultural practical. Those indicted will not go unpunished. This is not nice and it is uncalled for.”