Primary and secondary school teachers in Kaduna State, under the auspices of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) have issued a two week ultimatum to Governor Nasir El-Rufai to rescind his government’s decision to sack 21,780 primary teachers.
NUT said, it has concluded arrangements to embark on an indefinite strike and shutdown schools if the Governor fails to shelve his sack plan by the end of the two weeks ultimatum.
The umbrella union of primary and secondary school teachers at a press conference in Kaduna on Monday said, El-Rufai shifted the goal-post in the middle of the game.
Chairman of the union, Comrade Audu Titus Amba who read their open letter to Governor El-Rufai before newsmen said, it was initially agreed by all stakeholders in the education sector that the pass mark for the competency test be pegged at 60 per cent, while those who are unable to score up to 60 per cent be retrained.
According to the open letter signed by NUT Assistant Secretary General, Comrade Adamu Ango, “That, the NUT, Kaduna State Wing as a responsible stakeholder in the educational sector even though aware of the position of the law as it relates to the body statutorily empowered to regulate the teaching profession cooperated with the Kaduna State government under the mistaken believe that the intention of the state government was altruistic, in the sense that it is aimed at enhancing state. However, with the benefit of hindsight we now know better.
“That it is agreed by all stakeholders in the educational sector that the pass mark for the competency test be pegged at 60 per cent while those who are unable to score up to 60 per cent be retrained.
“However, in a classical display of bad faith which started as a rumour, the Kaduna State government unilaterally and arbitrarily pegged the pass mark for the competency test at an unprecedented 75 per cent.
“Your Excellency, while hosting a delegation of World Bank officials, you announced to the whole world that 21,780 teachers will be disengaged in Kaduna State Public primary and secondary schools for not scoring up to 75 per cent in the competency test, while 25,000 will be recruited in their stead.
“That, the NUT, Kaduna State Wing wrote a letter to you, appealing to your conscience to rescind the decision above, but as usual, you ignored the letter and went ahead with your avowed determination to impose your will against the consensus of bonafide stakeholders in the educational sector.
“The NUT subsequently as a last resort and in the spirit of constitutional democracy, rule of law, due process decided to approach the National Industrial Court, Kaduna division to adjudicate on the issue of whether the Kaduna State government has the statutory power to conduct the competency test and which Court processes have been served on you and the office of the Attorney General.
“However, contrary to all standards of decency in a democratic setting and in spite of the service of Court process on the Kaduna State government, you have gone ahead to publish on your tweeter handle, a list of teachers who purportedly passed the competency test by scoring 75 per cent and above.
“All the above, leaves the Kaduna State Wing of the NUT with no option other than to serve the instant notice in compliance with the wishes of its members expressed at the meeting of the state wing executive council held on the 6th November, 2017“, the letter read.