The Plateau Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on Wednesday said the state government needed 12,000 teachers for its 309 secondary schools to up the state’s educational standard.

Chief Venji Lar, the commission’s Chairman, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.

Lar said that shortage of teachers in the government-owned schools have negative effects on the educational standard of the state, which he said demanded immediate solution.

“When we first came in 2017 as officials of the commission, we met only 2, 890 teachers instead of 12, 000 teachers handling the teeming students in our 309 schools.

“But given the strong concern, affection and attachment to education by Gov. Simon Lalong, he graciously approved the employment of additional 868 teachers, at our request, to bridge the gap.

“Again, in November 2018, the governor also approved the employment of 2,500 civil servants to address the state’s manpower shortfall in the civil service.

“Out of the figures (2,500), 840 will be teaching staff and 160 non-teaching staff to further bridge the gap of the shortfall of teachers in our schools and catch up with the private schools.

“Once the 840 teachers are recruited early this year, 2019, the state will have a total of 4, 598 teachers, leaving a shortfall of 7, 402 teachers, ’’ the commission’s chairman said.

He explained that the shortfall of teachers in the schools was largely due to the lean financial purse of the state.

Lar said, “From the way and manner Gov. Lalong is approaching the problem of lack of teachers in our schools, it’s just a matter of time for us to bridge the gap once and for all.’’

On teachers’ promotion, Lar disclosed that a total of 800 teachers were promoted last year out of 2,000 due for promotion.

“We conducted promotion examinations for the teachers in 2017, and 800 of them have received their promotion letters, while others are still pending due to some hitches that has to do with the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“But, as soon as they are able to clear that grey area, their letters will be released to them, because we view that as part of the motivational steps for better performance,’’ he said.

Lar, who decried the low educational standard in the country, called for concerted efforts by government to up the standard for the desired growth and development of the nation.

He said that the Plateau Government was on course to address the dismal standard of education in the state toward employing quality teachers for schools.