Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted six students and two teachers from a private secondary school in Kaduna State.
The Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Mr Yakubu Sabo, confirmed the abduction to Channels Television on Thursday.
According to him, the incident took place at Kakau Daji, a village located behind the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company (KRPC) in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
Sabo said the gunmen invaded the school through a porous fence in the early hours of Thursday morning, went straight to the female hostel and abducted the students.
He added that the two teachers residing inside the school were also kidnapped by the bandits and their whereabouts yet unknown.
The Command’s spokesman explained that a combined team of Police Mobile Force and Anti-Kidnapping Squad have launched a manhunt of the kidnappers with a view to rescuing the victims and apprehending the culprits.
He also advised proprietors of private schools to beef up their premises with adequate security personnel in order not to expose their students to any form of attack.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the recruitment of additional 1,200 teachers for the Junior and Senior Secondary schools in the state.
The Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the State Ministry of Education, Adesegun Ogundeji, revealed this in a statement on Friday.
Governor Ambode had hinted at the recruitment when he addressed residents and stakeholders at the last quarterly town hall meeting held recently at the Ibeju Lekki area of the state.
He promised that his administration would employ more teachers in public schools to meet up with the manpower required to cover all public schools across the state.
Confirming the development in the state, Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs Idiat Adebule, said the 1,200 teachers was an addition to the 1000 teachers which the governor had approved for recruitment into primary schools in the state.
Adebule, who oversees the affairs of the State Ministry of Education, disclosed that guidelines for the application would be released soon in accordance with the Civil Service Rules.
She was hopeful that the development would further aid teaching and learning in the public schools, stressing that it was attracting more enrollment in the last three years.
The deputy governor attributed the progress to the government efforts towards improving infrastructure and welfare of teaching and non-teaching staff in its service.
She noted that the improved facilities and staff motivation were evident in the high-performance rate of the students of the state in local and international competitions.
A Dakar court jailed a group of teachers for up to five years for cheating in high school exams, a lawyer for the defendants said on Thursday.
Forty-two people — including a headmaster, teachers and students — were accused of charges including “criminal conspiracy, fraud and fraudulently obtaining undue material benefits” after baccalaureate papers were leaked in July 2017.
The scandal resulted in the cancellation of French and history-geography tests after topics were circulated on social media, including WhatsApp.
A headmaster at a provincial high school was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 500,000 francs (760 euros) after the trial on May 24.
A teacher in Dakar was given two years, a fine of 18 million francs (more than 27,000 euros) in addition to a confiscation of property, according to the lawyer.
Other sentences handed down to pupils and teachers ranged from two months suspended to one year.
One student was released, while others walked free after spending several months in detention.
The education sector in Senegal has been hit by several crises in recent years, including repeated strikes by staff and students.
The recurring disruptions have led to a drop in the quality of education, according to specialists, forcing many parents to opt for private schooling.
The Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has commended the state government for what they describe as its giant strides towards revamping the education sector and making learning more conducive in the state.
In a letter signed by its Assistant Secretary General, Adamu Ango on Friday, the NUT praised Governor Nasir El Rufai for the distribution of instructional materials to all primary and secondary schools in Kaduna state, ranging from textbooks, whiteboards, teachers manual, chalk and other library materials.
In addition, the union commended the government for providing motorcycles for monitoring and supervision of schools in all 23 local governments in the state.
According to the NUT, El Rufai also deserves praises for the construction and renovation of public primary and secondary schools throughout the state, as well as the provision of continuous teachers’ education programmes, training and workshops for its members.
The state NUT had held several protests last year and also embarked on an industrial action over series of reforms that the government was embarking upon in the education sector.
One of the major moves by the government was the sack of over 21,000 teachers who failed a competency test in June 2017.
While the teachers and the members of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), had protested against the move, the governor insisted then that no amount of protests will make the government change its position.
According to him, education is one of the foundational components of building a modern society so quality education for every child in the state was not an issue to be compromised.
He said: “This is a problem that we confronted within months of coming into office and we took extraordinary measures to steady the situation.
“We knew there would be a resistance but for us, education is one of the foundational components of building a modern society and we are not going to compromise on the quality of education and the quality of education relies on the quality of the teacher more than any other tool or infrastructure.”
The Kaduna State Government says it has increased the salary of public school teachers by 32.5 per cent.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Ja’afaru Sani, told reporters at his office on Thursday that the increment was part of ongoing reforms in the education sector.
He explained that 27.5 per cent would be added to all teachers’ salary while the other five per cent would serve as an incentive for teachers posted to rural areas.
Mr Sani noted that the increase in the salaries of teachers has placed them above other civil servants in the state, and it was aimed at attracting the best hands to the teaching profession.
He equally announced that free accommodation and other incentives would be provided for them, especially for those serving in rural communities.
According to the Commissioner, the state government took the measure in order to retain qualified and professional teachers posted to rural areas.
He also informed journalists that the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) would post the first batch of 10,000 newly recruited teachers to primary schools within the next two weeks.
The state government had said it would sack more than 21,000 teachers who fail failed a competency test conducted by SUBEB in June 2017.
The development drew mixed reactions from stakeholders in Kaduna State and other parts of the country, as some said it would help to save the future of the younger generation.
Despite the threat by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state, Governor Nasir El-Rufai insisted that there was no going back on the decision.
The NUT members later proceeded on an industrial action which lasted for about 10 days, during which they were joined by labour unions from across the country to protest the sacking of the teachers.
However, the government and the teachers’ union later came into terms in which the government said it was recruiting new teachers and asked affected members of the union who feel they are qualified enough to apply for the job.
Meanwhile, some of the applicants commended the process of recruitment into the teaching profession, which they said would enhance quality in the state’s education sector.
The Enugu State government is worried about what it described as ‘deliberate absenteeism and lateness’ to duty by teachers in public schools across the state.
To this end, the government warned erring teachers on Friday to desist from such acts as they have grave consequences on students.
Chairman of the Enugu Science Technical and Vocational Schools Management Board (STVSMB), Mr Obi Kama, gave the warning when he led members of the board on a supervisory tour of some technical schools in the state.
He said the government would not hesitate to take decisive steps to nip the ugly situation in the bud, stressing that, “a situation where principals and teachers report late to work or don’t come at all” will no longer be tolerated.
At the Technical College, Amofia-Affa, where the principal and some teachers were not present as at 8:15 am, Kama stressed the need for them to be conscious of their duty by reporting to work on time.
He also advised them to change their way of doing things, noting that coming to school late or failing to teach the students would be viewed as sabotage.
The STVSMB chairman further told teachers who stay outside their place of posting to relocate to their official workplace to avoid the excuses of absenteeism and late coming.
He maintained that the era of ghost workers in schools had gone and warned that any teacher who indulged in such act would have him or self to blame.
The team also visited the Technical College, Umuoka, where Kama decried the sorry state of the school’s Engineering Workshop.
He, however, said the board was already addressing the state of workshops in technical schools as renovation would commence very soon.
The Kaduna State government has asked sacked teachers to reapply for job in the ongoing recruitment of 25,000 new qualified teachers for public primary schools in the state.
Commissioner of Education in the state, Mr Jafaru Sani, announced this on Sunday during a press conference at his office in Kaduna.
This followed the sacking of more than 21,000 unqualified teachers by the state government after they failed a controversial competency test conducted by the government in June 2017.
Mr Sani said government has received at least 43,000 applications from prospective teachers in public schools in the state to fill up 25,000 vacancies.
He also asked any of the sacked teachers that feels qualified and interested in the teaching profession to reapply for a job in the ongoing recruitment of 25,000 new qualified teachers for public primary schools in the state.
The commissioner, who said about 12,000 of the sacked teachers had already reapplied, explained that the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has introduced a continuous recruitment programme which gives a window of opportunity for every willing teacher to apply and be considered for the job.
On the suspension of the 10-day indefinite strike by the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), he said the union did so on their own volition having seen the need to help save future generations from servitude by ensuring that quality public education is offered in the state.
The sacking of the teachers had sparked reactions from labour unions and groups within and outside Kaduna State.
Although the dust seems to be settling down following the suspension of the strike by the NUT, the state government maintained that the issue of sanitising public schools in the state was very crucial and required courage, honesty and sincerity.
In his words, Sani said: “On Monday, 15th January 2018, the government disclosed that the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board had completed marking the scripts of the 43,000 applicants that responded to our teacher recruitment notice.
“Yesterday, Saturday, 20th January 2018, SUBEB invited the over 27,000 applicants that were shortlisted after the first recruitment test for interviews from Wednesday, 24th January 2018. SUBEB is working to ensure that the first batch of teachers who meet the required standards of knowledge, training and certification are available for deployment in schools by February 2018.
“Once this batch of recruitment is successfully concluded, SUBEB will issue further notices as appropriate to enable the government to receive applications from interested candidates and to test, interview and employ new teachers in the numbers that are required to adequately service the 4250 public primary schools in the state.
“This necessary effort to recruit qualified teachers for our public primary schools met needless resistance from some quarters. But this government did not waiver because it has a duty to the two million children in public primary schools and their parents; to provide the children with a ladder for social mobility, buoyed by knowledge, skills and the personal attitudes that will enable them to compete in the race of life with utmost confidence and competence.
“The government led by Mr Nasir El-Rufai is firmly committed to the idea that the children of the poor are entitled to a decent education and is determined to enhance the teaching standards and the learning environment to attain this goal. Our public primary schools will no longer be the dumping ground for persons who have no business near any of our schools, not to mention being unfortunately mistaken for teachers.
“I wish to put on record our firm appreciation to the ordinary masses of Kaduna State, who as parents, understood that it is them and their offspring that will benefit from the reforms that we are undertaking in the education sector. The understanding and support of these parents ensured that all the sentiments and false narratives that were mobilised to compel us to knowingly retain or recall unqualified teachers had zero impact. We also express gratitude to our communities for their firm stance in favour of the right of young children to quality education.
“Anyone who expected that strike action would make us retreat from a position of principle was mistaken. It is our expectation that everyone in the education sector now recognises that there will be a relentless emphasis on teaching standards and that this government will not permit any slip. No vested interests will stand between our children and our obligation to train them well.
“In recruiting the 25,000 new teachers, there would be no compromise of standards in terms of testing and certificate verification.”
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna State of has called off its indefinite strike.
NUT Chairman in the state, Mr Titus Amba, announced this on Thursday in Kaduna State, barely two weeks after the industrial action began.
The announcement was contained in a statement jointly signed Mr Ambah and the assistant secretary of the union, Adamu Ango, following an emergency meeting of the State Executive Council (SWEC) held in the state capital.
The 10-day strike began on Monday, January 8, in protest of the sack of 21,780 teachers in the public primary schools by the state government for failing a controversial competency test in June 2017.
NUT, however, said the strike was called off after the government offered the sacked teachers another opportunity for consideration under the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB) programme of continuous recruitment.
The union leadership further pledged to support the state government effort towards ensuring qualitative education in the state.
They also commended the teachers for remaining united and resolute in the struggle, as well as the leadership of the labour movement and those who identified with them during their struggle.
Part of the statement read; “The State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) of NUT Kaduna commends the above decision of the governor and sees in it an opportunity to resolve the impasse between the teachers in Kaduna State and the state government; the end results of which will be an improvement in service delivery in our public schools.
“In the light of the above, SWEC unanimously resolved to reciprocate the gesture of the Kaduna State government by calling off with immediate effect the indefinite strike embarked upon by teachers in the public schools and secondary schools in Kaduna State.
“SWEC hereby extends its hand of fellowship to the Kaduna State government and implore it to always engage the NUT in all matters relating to the implementation of service delivery in the education sector and teachers’ welfare”.
Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUJ) in Kaduna State on Monday commenced an indefinite strike to protest against the sacking of over 21,000 teachers by the state government.
The union directed all teachers in the state to remain at home until the state government reverses its decision after the sacked primary school teachers scored below 75 per cent in a competency test conducted for them in June 2017.
The directive was contained in a notice served to NUT members across the state and signed by the union Chairman and Assistant Secretary-General, Audu Amba and Adamu Ango respectively.
The NUT explained that the decision to commence the industrial action followed the expiration of the two weeks’ notice it gave to the state government to rescind the decision.
They also criticised the government’s decision to proceed with the sack despite a suit at the National Industrial Court on the matter.
However, the state government is not taking the matter with kid gloves as it warned public school teachers not to obey the directive by the union.
In a statement signed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesperson, Mr Samuel Aruwan, the government warned that any teacher who is absent from work would be treated with the consequences that pertain to absconding from duty under the Public Service Rules.
The statement read: “There can be no doubt that state will take firm and decisive disciplinary action against personnel who absent themselves from duty, including dismissal from service.
“This is an illegal action, and will not achieve its aim of derailing the education reforms being implemented by the government. The Kaduna State Government wishes to inform the public that it has instructed its education administrators to open registers in all its schools, starting from Monday, January 8, 2018.”
The government insisted that there is no going back in its decision, stressing that there is no amount of blackmail that will make it retain unqualified teachers in service.
They added that they won’t mortgage the future of two million primary school pupils because failed teachers “are shamelessly mobilising sentiment”.
Members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Delta State have held a peaceful rally to declare their stand on the issue of the local government autonomy.
The teachers, during a protest on Tuesday, demanded that funding of primary education must remain the responsibility of the federal or state government through first line charge.
They, however, rejected a bill aimed at transferring the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries to local councils along the quest for local government autonomy and in anticipation that the bill might soon be forwarded to the Delta State House of Assembly
The teachers started the peaceful demonstration at the Teachers’ House in Asaba and marched through the streets of the capital city, chanting various songs of solidarity.
The march ended at the State House of Assembly where the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Honourable Sheriff Oborevwori, and other lawmakers received them.
Speaking on behalf of the teachers, NUT Chairman in the state, Titus Okotie, explained the purpose of the rally and what it seeks to achieve to the lawmakers.
He said: “Let me state here without equivocation that the NUT is opposed to the issue of autonomy for local government councils without separating primary school teachers’ salaries. This is the only way to save the basic and primary education from imminent collapse.”
Other members of the union also decried the non-payment of their salaries which they said ranged from three to five months.
Primary school teachers are being owed salaries in most states supposedly due to the inability of the councils to provide the funds needed for payment of the salaries.
According to them, this has created a situation of discouragement and hopelessness which portends danger for public primary education and the future of the mass under-privileged children in Nigeria.
The NUT said it has a duty to protect the interest and welfare of its members, as well as to contribute its quota to the growth and advancement of education in the country.
Honourable Oborevwori, in his response, said the state government has done well in ensuring that salaries of teachers in the state were paid promptly and that the bill has not been transmitted to the House.
“We will look into the petitions you have brought to the House. We are still expecting the transmitted copy of the bill from the National Assembly.
“We are aware that few states have received theirs but we here at the Delta State House of Assembly have not received the copy yet,” he said.
The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna had also vowed to go on an indefinite strike if the state government fails to suspend its plan.
But Chairman of the Christian leaders, Bishop Simon-Peters Mutum, urged the government to reconsider the decision, saying such intention would add more suffering to the teachers and their families.
Far from the sacking of teachers, he was concerned about the continuous attacks on communities in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country by suspected herdsmen.
Bishop Mutum also decried government’s failure to arrest the perpetrators or provide adequate security to victims of the attacks.
He said: “There is need for continuous military and security surveillance in the affected areas in Southern Kaduna; need to ensure non-reoccurrence, need to retrieve and secure affected farmlands, need to resettle affected persons, need for the perpetrators of the criminal killings to be arrested, investigated and prosecuted for justice’s sake as that will also serve as deterrent to others.”
The clergyman further asked the Federal and state governments to establish centres for displaced persons and build stronger mechanisms towards the rehabilitation of the affected people and communities.
He also highlighted the need to encourage different ethnic and religious groups in affected areas to embark on peacemaking initiatives.
“Due to the cultural, religious and social orientation of the ethnic peoples of Southern Kaduna, displaced people were immediately adsorbed into families of relations, churches and neighbours.
“As such, government has not been truly saddled with the task of providing shelters, medical care, added security, food, educational, and other necessary facilities, as that has been the case in other areas,” he said.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says no amount of blackmail will change the government’s decision to sack about 22,000 teachers in the state.
This follows the two weeks ultimatum issued to the state government by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna that they would embark on an indefinite strike if the government fails to suspend its plan.
Governor El-Rufai, however, insisted that government will not back down from sacking the teachers who he described as incompetent to remain in the teaching profession.
“Many times, the decisions we take offer us slow political advantages, but we do what is necessary not minding the direct impact on us personally but conscious of the dire consequences of inaction on our people,” he said while addressing members of the State House of Assembly earlier in the week.
“Change is not a slogan to win elections; change represents hard work required to refocus our state on the path of progress,” he added.
The governor said government has been facing threats and blackmail from some teachers, even when it was apparent that many of them were of very low grade.
According to him, this prompted his administration to take immediate action to address the situation, maintaining that there is no going back on the decision.
El-Rufai added that he is not afraid to sack unqualified teachers in the system in order to secure the future of the over two million pupils in the state, even if it would cost him his second term re-election.
“Mr Speaker sir, the APC got elected in 2015 because the people of Nigeria and the people of Kaduna State believe that while that one-time ruling party plans to win the next election, the APC will plan for the welfare of the next generation.
“It is irresponsible not to act when most of our primary school teachers cannot score 75 percent in a class four examination, or to shrink from the edifying workers and pensioners because the ghost workers and others affected will scream and make the world believe that nobody in Kaduna State is being paid salary or pension,” he said.
According to the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board, about two-thirds of primary school teachers who sat for the test, made up of primary four questions, failed to score up to 75 percent in the grading.
The state government, however, said it would recruit as many qualified teachers as possible to replace those reportedly marked for dismissal.