Some education stakeholders said on Friday that the recurrent sacking of primary school teachers by the Kaduna State Government was counterproductive to the development of basic education in the state.
The stakeholders stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna, while reacting to the recent sacking of 2,357 primary school teachers for allegedly failing competency tests.
One of them, Mr Tjjjani Aliyu, Citizens’ Co-chair, Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism (KADBEAM), said the development would halt the progress being recorded in basic education.
Aliyu said the government had in 2018, sacked 21,780, for allegedly failing a similar test, adding that 233 others were sacked in December 2021 for allegedly presenting fake certificates.
According to him, the sacking of the teachers is undermining ongoing efforts to address the problem of out-of-school children and the rot in school infrastructure.
“The government had sacked about 22,000 teachers in 2018 which he said were unqualified and claimed to have recruited 25,000 qualified teachers through a vigorous screening process.
“Now, the government again, subjected the teachers to a competency test and sacked 2,357 over it. This is counterproductive.”
He said that teachers assessment should be organised to determine their capacity gaps and tailored strategic training to bridge the gap.
He also said to determine teachers’ competency and ability to deliver, the test must be done in a classroom situation where the delivery of the teacher would be observed and assessed.
“You cannot ask a teacher a yes or no, fill in the blank, or choose from the available option kind of questions and call it a competency test,” he said.
He called on the state government to retract the steps to instead of sacking, train the teachers to equip them with modern techniques of teaching to improve the learning outcome of pupils.
On his part, Mr Haruna Danjuma, President, National Parents Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), described the development as “very disturbing”.
Danjuma disclosed that parents were not happy with the situation, adding that the teachers were demoralised.
According to him, even the teachers that are not sacked are not sure of how long they will stay before they will also be fired.
“What the government needs to do is to find out who is not meeting up to expectations, give him another training and give him an opportunity to improve himself.
“There is a huge shortage of teachers in public primary schools when you look at the teacher/pupils’ ratio, particularly in rural schools.
“For example, you cannot find up to three teachers in some primary schools in Igabi Local Government Area and instead of recruiting more, the government is laying off teachers. This is sad,” he said.
He called on the state government to have a second thought on the issue because of the negative impact the decision would have on the basic education sector in the state.
Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board on June 19, announced the dismissal of 2,192 primary school teachers for refusing to sit for the competency test, including the National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr Audu Amba.
The board, in a statement, added that 165 of the 27,662 teachers that sat for the competency test were also sacked for scoring below 40 per cent.