-Teachers in Kaduna state go spiritual over alleged plans by the government to sack 20,000 teachers.
-The NUT boss in Zaria local government however advised government to reconsider its plans as there is already a shortage of teachers.
-He also urged the government to settle outstanding salaries of teachers rather than threaten them with job loss.
Following the disclosure by the Kaduna state government that up to 20,000 teachers did not pass the competency test organized for them, some of the affected teachers in Zaria local government area of the state, on Tuesday began three days of fasting and prayers to seek God’s intervention on the planned sack of 20,000 primary school teachers.
The NUT chairman in Zaria local government, Malam Yahaya Abbas, revealed to journalists that the teachers opted to seek God’s intervention over the impending job loss.
Abbas said: “Majority of our members here are Muslims and we do not have anywhere to lodge our complaint except to our creator.
“Therefore, we intend to start a three-day fasting on Oct. 17, in addition to prayers, to seek God’s intervention on the planned mass sack of our members whom government said did not pass its examination.
“There is no way for everybody to score “A” grade in an examination; that is 75 per cent, this is not what was agreed with the union representatives.
“The agreement was that the pass mark should be 60 per cent not 75 per cent. Again, the result of the examination is not yet out but government said it will sack 20,000 teachers.”
According to him, the teachers are still been owed between 3 and 13 months of salary, while some of them were being underpaid.
“I can assure you that there is one female teacher who teaches 200 pupils in a class due to shortage of teaching staff.
“Again, sacking of experienced teachers and recruiting new ones is not the solution because anybody who bagged a National Certificate in Education or degree in the last 10 years must have been taught by these categories of teachers.
“Therefore, if the government argued that the present calibre of teachers are not qualified, then, how do you expect their products to be better than the teachers’?,” he asked.
Abbas also disclosed the governor’s planned action contravenes what he promised them before the the examination was conducted.
“Initially, Gov. El-Rufa’i said he would never sack any teacher but he would ensure that those who failed the exam were given the necessary training to catch up.
“According to him, those who cannot catch up will be given another duty but we do not know what happened that he changed his mind and descended on the teachers,” Abbas noted.