The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened a statewide strike if the Kaduna State Government does not overturn its decision to dismiss 2,357 teachers, including its president, Audu Amba.
NAN said that the union made its views known during a National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital territory (FCT), on Wednesday.
Kelvin Nwankwo, the union’s Deputy National President, stated that the dismissal was due, among other things, to the president’s and some instructors’ unwillingness to take a competency test organized by the Kaduna State Government.
“It is very unfortunate and puzzling that the NUT President’s dismissal notice has been made public via social media despite not having been served on him.
Mr. Nwankwo stated, “The objective is plainly to frighten the NUT President and shame the teachers in Nigeria.”
The union reaffirmed its intention to support the president and other state-fired teachers.
“The NUT family confirms its resolve to stand with its esteemed president, Comrade Audu Titus Amba, and all teachers in Kaduna State.
“The union will continue to defend the rights of teachers in Nigeria, despite the anti-labor measures of the Kaduna State Government and others,” he added.
Instead of issuing dismissal letters, the union asserted that the government should have explored the possibility of training and retraining to enhance the competence of instructors.
“As educators, we are best qualified to understand the concept of test administration, which is a well-established and widely accepted method for evaluating the academic performance of a student.
“However, this noble instrument has been perverted and exploited in Kaduna State.
“It has been used as a weapon of retribution against labor leaders who dared to exercise their statutory and historical function of campaigning for the improvement of teachers’ welfare.
“The National Executive Council (NEC) of our great Union has, in good faith and in accordance with international best practices in the teaching profession, urged the Kaduna State Government to instead implement a continuous teacher training plan.
The organization added, “This is the case in other professions such as nursing, medicine, and law.”
NUT, noting that around 21,780 teachers were fired or retired in 2018, stated that the recent dismissal was one too many.
“It is crucial to note that the claimed Competency Test conducted by the Kaduna State Government took place during the pendency of Suit No. NICN/54/2021 before the National Industrial Court, Kaduna Division.
NUT added that the supposed firing of 2,357 instructors occurred while another Motion on Notice was pending.
It was stated that the motion sought an order prohibiting the Kaduna State Government from firing any teacher from Kaduna State’s public schools for not writing or passing the state’s competency exam.
Remember that on Sunday, the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB), the government organization responsible for the funding and regulation of basic education in the state, announced the layoff of 2,357 teachers.
It was stated that the decision was made due to the teachers’ refusal to participate in the recently administered government-sponsored competency examination.
Several years ago, the government instituted a proficiency exam for teachers in the state. The change apparently led to the sacking of 21,780 teachers in 2018 for failing the exam.
To replace them, however, the government sought 25,000 replacements.
Since 2018, the state government has continued to administer competency and professionalism exams to teachers.
In 2021, however, the government reported that 27,662 instructors took the exam, but that 165 of them fared poorly and were fired.
In a statement announcing the firing, the spokesperson for the government agency, Hauwa Mohammed, stated that 2,192 primary school teachers, including Mr. Amba, had been fired for refusing to take the competency exam.
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