The Kaduna State labour leadership has challenged the state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to provide evidence of the poor performance of primary school teachers in the aptitude test the state recently conducted.
This challenge was posed by the Chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Adamu Ango.
El-Rufai had recently disclosed that two third of primary school teachers in the state failed to score up to 75 per cent when asked to write competency examinations meant for primary four students. He revealed this while receiving a World Bank delegation in his office last Monday.
“We tested our 33,000 primary school teachers, we gave them primary four exams and required they must get at least 75 per cent but I’m sad to announce that 66 per cent of them failed to get the requirements,” he disclosed.
“The hiring of teachers in the past was politicised and we intend to change that by bringing in young and qualified primary school teachers to restore the dignity of education in the state,” the governor added.
The governor also said that his administration would disengage about 20,000 unqualified primary school teachers to restore confidence in public schools adding that the state will employ 25,000 primary school teachers as part of efforts to restore dignity and quality to its education sector.
However, Ango challenged him to make public the comprehensive results of the said test alongside the international standard of teachers competency examination criteria.
Governor unfair to the teachers
Ango, who doubles as the state secretary of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), said the governor has not been fair to the primary school teachers he embarrassed publicly by the revelation.“This is the third test conducted on teachers. Where are the rest of the results? What are the criteria, who are the bodies that are supposed to conduct these exams? What is the agreed internationally accepted pass marks and the unconcluded verification exercise?Government has no business conducting professional exams
He said the governor as an employer cannot be a judge in his own case.
He added that it was the duty of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), to conduct professional examinations for teachers.
“Or can the government organise examinations for medical doctors or lawyers? You cannot just come and set examinations and call it ‘primary four’ exam when we know it is not for primary four,” he continued.
He connected the governor’s statement to political propaganda.
“This is just a cheap media propaganda. There is also more of politics in this examination than even the standard they are talking about. They just want to give a dog a bad name to hang it,” he asserted.
“What the government is saying about teachers in the state is not correct. By tomorrow, we, together with the Nigeria Union of Teachers, shall ensure that the correct results are available to the public to judge,” he said.
Train teachers for better results
Ango said rather than vilify the teachers, the state ought to train them more.
“What they should have done is to send them on capacity building training and do away with the few bad ones who may have performed below standard.”
Ploy not to pay backlog of grants
Ango also claimed that the state government is yet to pay the backlog of 2016 leave grants of teachers.
“And they want to sack 20,000 out of 36,000 teachers and employ 25,000. The government just wants to do something like being crafty because they have this in mind, to reduce the number of teachers. There is no way they will do it, that is why they brought in this examination of a thing to drive home what they have in their mind,” he said.