Christianisation: Oyo assures Muslims of equity in teachers test

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The Oyo State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) has reacted to an allegation levelled against it by a human rights organization named Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) over what the organization described as the Christianization of the ongoing Computer Based Test (CBT) in the state, stating that affected Muslim candidates will not be graded for the five Christian ReligIous Knowledge (CRK) content in their CBT.

The Permanent Secretary of TESCOM, Mrs Grace Olabisi Oderinde, disclosed this through a statement she personally signed made available to newsmen in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, affirming that the Commission is fully in line with Governor Seyi Makinde’s vision of an all-inclusive education system, stressing that it will not deviate from it.

MURIC had alleged that Muslim candidates were made to answer questions on biblical stories.

The statement read thus: “The attention of the Oyo State Post Primary Schools Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) has been drawn to the publication in print and social media platforms by Muslim Right Concern (MURIC) on August 14, 2020 regarding the ongoing Computer Based Test (CBT) being conducted as part of recruitment process for teachers into secondary schools in Oyo state regarding the inclusion of Christian Religious Knowledge contents as part of assessment for Muslim candidates and other religious affiliations in Computer Studies and Physics subjects conducted on Tuesday, 11th August, 2020.

“The Commission enormously values the uniqueness and diversity of candidates as well as community and therefore understands that people from diverse religious affiliations need to work together in a safe and respectful environment.

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“However, by virtue of the technology employed to assess the candidates(CBT), questions were randomly distributed to candidates based on established metrics. i.e Computer randomly distributed various questions to different candidates. We also observed that some Christians candidates and other religion had some Islamic Religious Knowledge contents in their assessment.

“TESCOM’s management and the CBT consultants usually conduct a high-level meeting at the end of the day to evaluate the daily assessment with a view to analysing and improving our service delivery. We usually review analytics and valuable insights from our daily report of the assessment and take proactive measures to ensure standardisation, fairness and inclusion of all our applicants.

“The Commission currently has several full and part time Muslim Board members while three out of the four Directors are Muslims.

“Arising from the above and based on our analytics, TESCOM Board and management has decided that affected Muslim candidates will not be graded for the five (5) inadvertently CRK contents found in their assessment and the same treatment will be applicable to affected candidates of other religious affiliations – The assessment will be ranked over Forty-five (45) instead of over Fifty(50) due to five (5) religious contents.

“This unanimous decision was made to remove all imagined or real bias, and in the overall interest of inclusion and diversity while the Management and Board are passionately committed to evaluating the ongoing CBT process with a view to addressing all necessary concerns.

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“The Board and Management of TESCOM wishes to assure MURIC, all stakeholders and indeed the entire citizenry of Oyo State that we shall not deviate from the good vision of His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde in transforming the education sector in Oyo state to greater heights and to promote inclusion and diversity in the teaching sector of the pacesetter state,” the statement concluded.

MURIC commends Oyo TESCOM

MURIC on its part has commended Oyo TESCOM chairman, Akinlade Alamu over the tone of his reaction to allegation of Christianising the CBT test held on Tuesday, 11th August, 2020.

In a statement issued on Sunday, 16th August, 2020, the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, commended the Executive Chairman of TESCOM for his exemplary behaviour.

MURIC thanked Pastor Akinade Alamu for addressing the core issue raised by the human rights association.

He continued, “Pastor Akinade comes across as the type of leader we need in this country. Nigeria needs a leader who is sensitive to the feelings of the people. We need a leader who will not ignore complaints but who will confront them frontally. The solution offered by Oyo TESCOM to our complaint may not be perfect, but nobody can fault the military dispatch with which it was addressed. We thank Pastor Akinade Alamu for displaying high level maturity.

“Instead of abusing or threatening us, instead of hiring a fiction story writer or fraudulently forming a fictitious 24-hour ‘Islamic’ organisation to start a dirty fight (just what some have done to hide their glaring oppression of Muslims), Pastor Akinade Alamu studied our grievance and took time to come up with a panacea. He set aside religious differences. He addressed the message and not the messenger. His language was refined, civil, diplomatic and parliamentarian. This is really commendable.

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“Here is a big lesson for the governors of Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti whose reactions to our criticisms have been undemocratic and nonconventional. The case of Oyo TESCOM and MURIC has proved that propaganda is not public relations. Leaders can stoop to conquer. Those in charge of public relations in public or private organisations must know this. Image makers must learn to respect the other side. Grandstanding and name-calling can only lead to the escalation of the crisis.

“MURIC will remain faithful to its motto, ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. We are open to discussions before, during or after opening an issue. We are not rigid. Neither are we extremists. It is only our dectractors who want to give us a bad name. We will continue to peacefully coexist with our neighbours but on equal terms of mutual respect, i.e. without compromising Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims.”

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