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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

NUT threatens nationwide strike over sack of 2,357 teachers in Kaduna

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has demanded immediate reinstatement of its 2,357 members sacked by the Kaduna state government under the administration of Governor Nasiru El-Rufai.

The deputy president of NUT, Dr Kelvin Nwankwo, stated this on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Abuja during a press conference. 

Recall, on June 19, 2022, the Kaduna government dismissed 2,357 teachers including the National Union of Teachers (NUT) president, Mr. Audu Amba for failing a recently conducted competency test

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The union alleged that that the whole concept of competency test which the Kaduna State Government relied on to sack 2,357 teachers in the state last week was “designed to achieve its inglorious aim of casualization of the teaching profession in Kaduna State.”

The union declared that its president, did not fail competency test as alleged by the Kaduna State Government.

It insisted that the Kaduna State Government’s action must be reversed, and threatened that in event of failure, strike would become an option to press home the union’s demand.

The statement partly reads; “You know our members are well dedicated people. This is the only union that does not have one illiterate among us. Remember that because of the competency test issue,we went to court,we are law abiding citizens and we felt that is the only way we can resolve this. But if it becomes necessary that we must go on strike,it would be a nation-wide strike.

“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

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”In addition, the same 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,” ”the union said.

According to the NUT Deputy President, “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 down sizing of the public service without even the remotest regards to our peculiar circumstances.”

He continued, “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 said.

The NUT Deputy President added that the manifest intention of the Kaduna State Government is to prey on the rather unfortunate existing non employment status of our 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.

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