By Etse Kassim, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has vowed to resist the move by Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State to sack 21,000 teachers for failing a competency examination conducted by the state government.
The teachers’ umbrella body said the state government should be blamed for initially recruiting carpenters as teachers.
Speaking on a breakfast television programme monitored in Abuja on Monday, Michael Alogba, NUT President, said the only option for the Kaduna State government not to incur the wrath of the union is to retrain the affected teachers.
He wondered why the state government would in the first instance recruit ‘teachers’ whose qualifications were not more than secondary school certificate while the national minimum requirement for the teaching profession is National Certificate of Examination (NCE).
He said: “The so-called results that have been brandished on the media, if you look at the qualification of the teachers, you will see SSCE, certificate in view; grade II. In the point of law, the national minimum requirement for the teaching profession is National Certificate of Examination (NCE). When a school certificate failure or pass is masquerading in the classroom as teachers, he is not competent or qualified as teacher.”
He advised the state government to admit its initial mistake in making the teaching profession an all-comer affair and do the needful by retraining the incompetent teachers instead of taking the sack decision.
His words: “Kaduna State government are only making jest of themselves. In Kaduna we have two divisions; the Northern and Southern Kaduna. In the Southern Kaduna their academic pursuit is very sound. In the Northern Kaduna it is nil. Will the governor says he doesn’t know?
“In Northern Kaduna Arabic teachers are many, SSCE people masquerading as teachers many. This present government under el-Rufai, when he came on board even spoilt everything under the guise that he wanted to reduce the workforce.
“He said that in the local government education authorities’ people are too many, and said all of you should go to classroom. He gave an executive directive that all these people in the offices should go to teach, mind you some of these people are carpenters, some of these people are typists, without having a recourse to their pedigree whether they are teachers or otherwise.”
Speaking further, the NUT boss also picked holes on the primary four tests conducted for the teachers, saying it was devoid of standard.
“You have been talking of competency test, as a professional, there is what we call standard testing. The so-called test so administered was not a standard test. Secondly, there was illegality, lack of procedure and due process. As far as the law is concerned in this country, the only statutory body that organises and supervises the act of pedagogic or the act of teaching is Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Kaduna State government recently pencilled down 21,000 teachers for sack, following their inability to pass primary four test.