Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has revealed that parents in the state now appreciate why his government fired 21780 teachers from the teaching service.
He said this while speaking on a Channels Television programme EduCeleb.com monitored earlier in the week.
Mr El-Rufai said that parents had come to understand and appreciate why the school teachers were fired based on the feedback he received.
He stated that the parents do call and send to him WhatsApp messages to appreciate the action that they once criticised as being heartless and insensitive.
In his words, “Parents call me and send me WhatsApp messages that ‘we now understand why you sacked the teachers you sacked. When you did it, we thought you were insensitive and heartless but we can see the difference. Now, our children come back home with home work. Some of them are even beginning to speak in English which is not something we’ve seen before’.”
EduCeleb.com recalls that in November 2017, the governor’s action sparked outrage across the country and led to labour leaders protesting against it.
A National Industrial Court judgement seeking the reversal of the governor’s decisions did not yield any change. He was also known to have increased the salaries of the teachers by 33 percent.
The governor reiterated that the sacking of the teachers was meant to get better replacement for them.
He emphasised that the termination of the contract with the 21780 teachers was to reform the state of the education system.
“Yes, we sacked 21780 teachers that failed Primary 4 exams but we’ve hired university graduates (and) NCE holders that have been tested and we can see the difference in our public school system.”
He also noted that the sacked teachers have been replaced with 25000 qualified and tested and ready professionals based on his government’s efforts to reduce teacher-student ratio while reeling on related reforms.
“The hired teachers only enables us to achieve a 1:50 teacher to student ratio. Although, our Target is 1:40, we can’t afford that at the moment.
“Before these reforms were made, the ratio was averagely 1:60. Infact, Igabi local government had the teacher student ratio to be 1:168 while Kaura Local Government had 1:9.
“There was the issue of quality, quantity and redistribution of teachers across our public schools. Because Kaura local government had so many teachers that they didn’t need, the heavy burden of salary payment made it as one of the distressed local governments.
“The continuous hiring and redistribution of the teachers across the state will ensure the 1:50 target we have at the moment until we can achieve the ideal teacher students ratio of 1:40 for primary schools.
“We are also hiring another 7600 teachers for secondary schools due to the quality and quantity issue in that section.”
He strongly held that it is the responsibility of a government to make available a free quality education system to its citizens.