The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened nationwide strike over the sack of 2,357 teachers by the Kaduna state government.
National Executive Council (NEC) of the NUT issued the threats on Tuesday while rejecting the sack of its members by the Governor Nasir El-rufai government.
CAMPUS GIST had reported how the Kaduna state government sacked some teachers in the state, including national president of the NUT, Audu Titus Amba, “for failing a competency test.”
But addressing journalists in Abuja, Tuesday, the deputy president of NUT, Kelvin Nwankwo said the Kaduna government must reverse its decision or be ready to face the union.
Nwankwo insisted that the union president did not fail any test as announced by the state government and, therefore, remains the national president.
The union also said the action of el-Rufai is clearly to intimidate the NUT president and embarrass the teachers in Nigeria, while accusing the governor of using the tactics not to pay owed salaries.
The NEC urged Kaduna government to rather embark on continuous teacher training programme, which would at the end of the day improve knowledge and service delivery by teachers in the public schools of Kaduna State as obtained in other professions such as nursing, medicine and law.
His words: “The very concept of competency test is an aberration and absurd having regards to the fact that the teachers in Kaduna State have prior to their recruitment in the State Public Service attended schools and institutions statutorily saddled with the responsibility of teacher education and these institutions have certified them to be competent, fit and proper to be teachers.
“In addition, the selfsame Kaduna State government had subjected the teachers to scrutiny and test to ensure their suitability or otherwise for employment as teachers before they were recruited by it.
“It is in the context of the above that the whole concept of a competency test which is only peculiar to Kaduna State is akin to a cocktail of absurdities and leaves a sour taste in the mouth, thereby validating the position of NUT that the intentions of the Kaduna State Government on this issue is everything but altruistic.”
Nwankwo said Kaduna State is the second most indebted state in Nigeria and the state government is on a free roller coaster move to satisfy the conditionalities handed down to it by its creditors, which normally includes downsizing of the public service without even the remotest regards to our peculiar circumstances.
“The whole concept of competency test was designed by the Kaduna State Government to achieve its inglorious aim of casualization of the teaching profession in Kaduna State.
“Otherwise, how else can one attempt a rationalization of the fact that the selfsame Kaduna State Government in the year 2018 dismissed/retired in one swoop 21,780 teachers purportedly for not passing its unilaterally and arbitrarily administered competency test and purportedly in replacement thereof recruited about 20,000 new teachers, who according to it were subjected to vigorous test and confirmed to be competent before they were recruited into the Kaduna State Public Service.
“In accordance with the Kaduna State Public/Civil Service Rules, these purported 20,000 Teachers were employed on a temporary basis and placed on a ONE YEAR probationary period.
“Their appointments were to be made permanent and pensionable after the one-year probationary period. However, rather regrettably five years down the line, these teachers are still under temporary appointment with the result that the Kaduna State Government can whimsically and shamelessly ask them to leave the public service without any terminal related benefits.
“These selfsame 20,000 constitute the bulk of the 2,357 teachers, who are said not to have passed the latest in the series of competency test in Kaduna State,” he added.
The NUT insisted that the manifest intention of the Kaduna State Government is to prey on the rather unfortunate existing non-employment status of the teeming school leavers by recruiting them as teachers only to subsequently subject them to the raw deal it subjected the purported 20,000 teachers, thereby achieving its aim of casualisation of the teaching profession in Kaduna State.
The union also said the case of its president, Amba, clearly establishes the fact that the whole concept of competency test in Kaduna State is arbitrary and lacking in certainty.