The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Kaduna chapter has criticised Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s recent disclosure 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.
Mr. El-Rufai, while receiving a World Bank delegation in his office on Monday, revealed the startling news.
“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 said.
“The hiring of teachers in the past was politicized 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 said.
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.
But, Adamu Ango, Chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the NLC told PREMIUM TIMES that the governor erred in his disclosure.
He challenged the state government to make public the comprehensive results of the said test alongside the international standard of teachers competency examination criteria.
Mr. 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?
He said the governor as an employer cannot be a judge in his own case.
He said 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.
“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.
“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.
He 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.”
Mr. 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.
A few of the teachers who spoke under condition of anonymity with PREMIUM TIMES asked the governor to make their test results public adding that the governor was not fair in his assessment.
“In fact, they (state) has already sacked 100 teachers who were employed in 2008 and 2009 in Kaduna South Local Government even before this competency examination is conducted,” a teacher in one of the primary schools visited said.