Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna state, Ibrahim Dalhatu, has condemned the sacking of 2,357 teachers in the state, after failing a competency test, describing the state government’s action as illegal.
Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB) had in a statement issued by Hauwa Mohammed, said the Board conducted a competency test for over 30,000 teachers in Dec. 2021. She said 2,192 primary school teachers including the National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) had been dismissed for refusing to sit for the competency test.
According to her, some 165 of the 27,662 teachers that sat for the competency test were also sacked for poor performances. The Board said that following the state government’s resolution for continued assessment of teachers to ensure better delivery of learning outcomes for pupils, KADSUBEB conducted another competency test for the teachers in December 2021.
The services of teachers who scored below 40 per cent were no longer required and their appointments had to be terminated from the Public Service for their poor performances.
“Teachers who scored 75 per cent and above were recognized as those who passed the test and qualified for attending courses in leadership and school management,” Ms. Mohammed said.
She explained that qualified teachers would be included in Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programmes to enhance their capacities to deliver quality teaching to pupils. Teachers who scored between 40 and 74 per cent did not meet up with the minimum pass mark but they would be given a second chance to improve their capacities.
KADSUBEB has already initiated viable training programmes for teachers under its statutory TPD with support from the state government and development partners. The training programmes would be conducted during the end of term vacation and in their respective schools, to minimize disruptions of teaching and learning. They are also encouraged to complement the government’s efforts and seek personal development for their own good.
The board assured teachers and the public that it remains committed to ensuring their continuous professional development and the improvement of the learning outcomes for pupils and students.
Reacting, the NUT State Chairman, Ibrahim Dalhatu described the competency test and the sacking of the teachers as illegal.
“We have secured a court order restraining the Board from conducting the competency test, it conducted the test without recourse to the rule of law,” he said.
“We asked the teachers not to write the examination after learning that the intent was to sack them. We warned that any teacher who participates in the illegal examination would not be protected by the union if victimized but some of the teachers went ahead to write the examination out of fear. We are not against the conduct of the competency test if due process is followed, but it should not be used as a basis for sacking teachers. The competency test should be used to determine teachers’ capacity gap and tailored specific training programmes to improve their capacities,” he said.