Teachers in Kaduna state have warned Governor Nasir El-Rufai that if he proceeds with his plan to sack over 20,000 teachers, he would face a shutdown of the state’s educational sector.
Some weeks ago, El-Rufai organized a competency test for teachers in the state’s public primary schools and about 21,780 allegedly failed the test. As a result the Kaduna state governor had announced that the teachers will be sacked and replaced with 25,000 new ones.
The teachers under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) said if El-Rufai goes ahead with his plan, the state’s public schools will be shut down indefinitely.
What kind of test?: Audu Amba, the Kaduna state NUT chairman, at a press conference on Thursday, said the test conducted by the governor was not a true test of the competence of the teachers and the union will only recognise tests conducted by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria and not a shabby one hurriedly put together by some persons.
“The so-called competency test was not a true test, because you can only test a teacher by supervising him while he teaches in class,” he said.
El-Rufai reneged on our agreement: While admitting that the state needs to be purged of incompetent teachers, the criteria used by the governor was not what was agreed. “What we agreed in the committee was 60 per cent, only for the Governor to use 75 per cent; yes, we agree that there are incompetent teachers among us, but the decision of the state government was not what we agreed at the committee level,” Amba said.
A case of Solidarity: Amba said the Union had a duty to protect its own from arbitrary dismissal.
“These teachers did not employ themselves; they were employed by the state government only to turn around and declare them unqualified. They are our members and we have a duty to protect our own,” he said.