Kaduna Teachers Call Off Indefinite Strike

Kaduna Teachers Call Off Indefinite Strike
A file photo of teachers during a rally

 

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”.

Kaduna Teachers Begin Indefinite Strike

Kaduna Teachers Begin Indefinite Strike
A file photo of teachers during a protest

 

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”.

LG Autonomy: Teachers Protest In Delta State

LG Autonomy: Teachers Protest In Delta State

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.

Christian Leaders Beg El-Rufai To Suspend Teachers’ Sack

Christian Leaders Beg El-Rufai To Suspend Teachers’ Sack
File photo: Governor Nasir El-Rufai

Christian leaders in Kaduna State have appealed to Governor Nasir El-Rufai to suspend the proposed sacking of about 22,000 unqualified teachers in the interest of humanity.

The clergymen, under the aegis of Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association (SKCLA), made the plea on Friday during a press conference in Kafanchan, Jemaa Local Government Area of the state.

Governor El-Rufai had said no amount of blackmail would change the government’s decision to sack the teachers who failed a competency test conducted in June.

READ ALSO: We Must Do What Is Necessary, El-Rufai Says About Sacking Teachers

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.

We Must Do What Is Necessary, El-Rufai Says About Sacking Teachers

We Must Do What Is Necessary, El-Rufai Says About Sacking Teachers
File photo

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.

Kaduna Govt To Recruit 25,000 Teachers

Southern Kaduna Attacks: El-Rufai Orders Arrest Of Suspected Masterminds
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Government has announced plans to recruit 25,000 primary school teachers following the recent decision to sack about 21,000 teachers in the state.

The government made the announcement on Thursday, noting however, that those who failed the ‘Primary Four Test’ could reapply.

The recruitment exercise which is expected to last till November 19, according to the government already saw over 18,000 entries as at Wednesday.

Read Also: Protests Won’t Deter Us From Sacking Unqualified Teachers – El-Rufai

“As at close of work yesterday, the State Universal Basic Education Board received in total, 18,550 applications from prospective teachers. Recruitment is still on,” the government stated.

This development comes after the government expressed dissatisfaction over the number of teachers who failed to meet up with the average score on the test conducted.

Out of the 33,000 teachers that sat for the exam, 21,780 were said to have failed while only 11,000 got 75% and above.

Competency Test: Kaduna Govt Releases Scripts Of Teachers

The Kaduna State Government on Thursday released photos of scripts belonging to primary school teachers in the state, following a ‘Primary Four Test’ which was administered by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).

This comes after the state government’s decision to lay off over 21,000 primary school teachers who were tagged as unqualified.

Read Also: Protests Won’t Deter Us From Sacking Unqualified Teachers – El-Rufai

 

Kaduna Govt Insists On Sacking 21,780 Teachers

Kaduna Govt Insists On Sacking 21,780 Teachers

Kaduna State government says there is no going back in its decision to sack the 21,780 teachers who failed competency test.

The ‘Primary Four Test’ was administered by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in June to access their quality in terms of service delivery.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna over the weekend, SUBEB Chairman, Nasir Umar, said out of the 33,000 teachers that sat for the exam, 21,780 failed to score the 75% agreed benchmark while only 11,000 got 75% and more.

He said no qualified teacher would be affected in the exercise, except those that failed the test which was conducted more than four months ago.

“We started training of those teachers. Unfortunately, we realised that no matter how much we put into the training and monitoring, it will not have a positive result because there was a wide gap between the teachers and the pupils – that was one of the reasons why we conducted the test,” he added.

“This government is doing everything possible to ensure that there is sanity in our public primary schools and due to that, a list of teachers who scored 75 percent and above was released; this does not mean that those who didn’t see their names to remain at home.”

Mr Umar said affected teachers who have served less than five years would have their appointment terminated without benefit while those from five years above would be retired from service with their entitlements in line with the Civil Service Rule.

He hinted that the teachers have been given three months’ notice to prepare for their exit from service, noting that they have become a liability for the state and were no longer trainable.

Explaining how the government arrived at the figure, he said: “This competency test which we organised involved all stakeholders in the education sector, the SSG was the chairman and supported by the Head of Service; Other members include members of the press, members from the NUT, Teachers Registration Council.

“After the conduct of the examination, we fixed the date for the marking, we invited those who mark NECO and WAEC examination to mark our own exams and we told them we want conference marking, that no marker should take any script outside the hall.

“After they finished the work, we still invited other educationists to vet the scripts and they came out with that result. So, it was not something secret and we have the script of each teacher, and if any teacher is not satisfied, we are ready to bring out the script and remark”.

However, the decision to disengage a large number of teachers did not augur well with the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers(NUT) in the state.

NUT Chairman in the state, Titus Ambah, who said although they support the sack of quack teachers from service, alleged that government had breached their agreement on the cut off for the test.

He said, “As a professional body, we supported government to find a way of fishing out people who ordinarily have no business on the teaching profession and as the leader of the teachers, I will not stand here and see quack teachers among us and keep quiet.

“We went into the field, conducted this very exam, came out with the result and agreed that this is the cut off mark – for every teacher that calls himself a teacher, this is the cut-off mark. Later we heard it in the media that government said the cut off mark is supposed to be 75 against what we agreed.”

Ambah, however, accused the government of victimising members of the union, saying they would resist the decision by embarking on an industrial action.

“So, it is sending fear and agitation our members, so we need to speak so that our members will understand our position.

“We have resolved as a union that if by this very exam that was given to our teachers – which it was not even what we all agreed at our committee level headed by the SSG – if any teacher is being relieved of his or her appointment, the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Kaduna State wing may not guarantee industrial harmony with the government of Kaduna State,” he added.

Meanwhile, the State Ministry of Education said it has declared a state of emergency in the sector due to the decay of infrastructure and lack of competent manpower.

The ministry also informed that it has commenced the recruitment of qualified teachers with the sole aim of bringing back the dignity of education in the state.

Obiano Approves Promotion Of Teachers, Others In Anambra

Obiano Approves Promotion Of Teachers, Others In Anambra
File photo

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has signed the 2015 and 2016 promotion of all teachers and other civil servants in the state and local government service.

The governor announced the good news to jubilant teachers who gathered for the 2017 World Teachers Day celebration on Thursday at the Teachers’ House in Awka, the state capital.

Besides the implementation of the promotion, he said 5,000 teachers would be employed in the coming year to replace retired teachers and support the aging ones.

In the aspect of training, Obiano said the number of teachers for abroad training would surpass the 36 that went in 2016, to improve and expand the teachers’ knowledge and experience.

He also informed that 2,110 classroom blocks have been renovated and six water ambulances fixed, while fencing of schools would be intensified to improve security and guard against the encroachment of school property.

Commending the governor, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Ifeanyi Ofodile, listed more support they have gotten from the government.

Part of the programme to mark the celebration was the hand out of certificates of registration of cooperative society to 20 head teachers in the 21 local government areas, as well as the inauguration of a 250KVA generator provided by the state government to power the Teachers’ House.

Public Primary School Teachers Protest In Osun

Public Primary School Teachers in Osun State under the aegis of (NUT) has embarked on a protest in the state.

The teachers who were led by the Chairman of the Osun State chapter of the Union, Mr. Wakeel Amudah, sang solidarity songs as they marched to the Osun State Assembly complex.

The teachers, through the protest, expressed their concerns over the agitation for local government autonomy.

See Photos Below…

 

 

Kwara Government Denies Sacking 700 Teachers

Kwara, Teachers, TESCOMThe Kwara State government has debunked a report by an online medium that 700 teachers recruited into the state’s Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) in 2014 without approval have been laid off.

The state government, through a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, described the report as false, misleading and lacking any basis in fact.

The governor’s media aide insists there has never been any intention to terminate their services of the teachers in question.

He clarified that the State Governor, Mr Abdulfatah Ahmed, had directed TESCOM to regularise the employment of the affected staff based on qualification and needs.

He stated that the State Executive Council had approved sanctions for the officials, including serving and retired personnel that facilitated the unauthorised recruitment of the workers.

According to the statement, TESCOM would conduct relevant process for the normalisation of employment of the affected staff with emphasis on those with appropriate qualifications in Mathematics, English and the core science subjects.

Dr. Akorede also referred to a Government House statement which noted that Governor Ahmed ruled out sacking the affected workers, in order not to worsen the unemployment situation in the Kwara State.

He, therefore, urged the public to disregard the false publication.

FG Employs 200,000 Graduates

FG Employs 200,000 GraduatesThe Nigerian government has employed 200, 000 graduates to work as teachers and agricultural extension workers across the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media, Mr Laolu Akande, made this disclosure at the second Presidential Economic Communication Workshop in Abuja.

Mr Akande explained that 200,000 graduates were selected out of 500,000.

According to him, while 150,000 of these graduates will work as teachers, 50,000 of them will work as extension workers.

The All Progressives Congress-led administration had promised during its campaign to provide three million jobs annually if voted into power.

However, over a year into its tenure, this dream has not been realised.