Kaduna stat governor, Nasir el-Rufai says his government remains insistent on sacking all 21, 780 teachers who failed competency test.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had on Thursday protested the government’s decision after the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Kaduna chapter went on strike in a bid to force the government to rescind its position on the matter.
In response to this el-Rufai said during an interview on Channels TV that the situation has been looked at several times and it has been decided that the only way forward is for new teachers to be employed while the ones who didn’t pass the competency test will be sacked.
“We have already taken second, third and fourth looks at this situation. We have studied what previous governments have tried to do and there is no going back,” he said.
“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are not going to reverse our decision; these teachers are gone, we are going to employ new teachers.
“The process of testing and interviewing the 25,000 teachers we are hiring to replace the 21,780 that we have fired is on and we are going to go ahead with it.”
Talking further, the governor said the state is doing this so that the children of the poor can have a solid foundation as regards their education.
“It is the children of poor that go to public schools.” and so, “we are committed to ensuring that they get decent public education as I got it when I was growing up in Daudawa in Katsina state.”
“I went to a public school and I got decent education. I was orphaned at the age of eight but I got free, basic education and that is why I am where I am,” he added.
“I intend, at whatever price, at whatever cost to bequeath that to children of ordinary people in Kaduna state. There is no going back.”
On training the teachers who didn’t pass the test rather than sacking them, el-Rufai said “you cannot train an illiterate”. According to him, these teachers failed questions drafted for children in primary four and as such there is no hope for them when it comes to working as teachers in his state.
“This administration of the APC in Kaduna state has already spent N650m on in the last two-and-a-half years since we took office. We have trained teachers, we have brought funds from the global partnership for education to train teachers.
“But you cannot train an illiterate to be a teacher. The situation we have in which people cannot answer questions that primary four people can answer, it means that they are incapable of being trained.
“Those that are talking about training do not get it. These ones that are going (sacked) are untrainable. They can do something else with their lives, and we will do everything to give them the opportunity to do so but not teaching.”