Deceased and retired teachers, messengers and security personnel were listed among “teachers” that passed the test conducted for primary school teachers in Kaduna State, according to the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
Malam Yahaya Abbas, NUT Chairman in Zaria Local Government, disclosed this on Tuesday in Zaria, while reacting to a mass protest by primary school pupils in Sabon-Gari.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the pupils were protesting against the sack of 21,000 teachers said to have scored less than 75 per cent in a test set set for them.
“The result of the examination showed that only three or four teachers passed in many schools.
“In some schools, retired teachers and teachers that died a long time ago were among those that passed.
“The list of successful teachers sent to some schools also included names of their messengers and security personnel,” he alleged.
The NUT chairman alleged that names of senior staff, especially those on level 14 and above, were absent from among those that passed, raising the suspicion that government was only out to sack them so as to reduce cost.
Also reacting to the protest, NUT Chairman, Sabon Gari Local Government, Malam Rabi’u Usman, described the action of the pupils as their “personal opinion not influenced by anybody”.
He said, however, that the children’s action was “a right step in the right direction”, and called on government to “do something urgently to save the situation”.
Usman said that the union was not opposed to the examination, but was against the pass mark of 75 per cent, declaring that there was no examination with such a high pass mark.
The chairman appealed to government to rescind its decision to sack the teachers before the expiration of the union’s ultimatum, or face the consequences.
NAN reports that the primary school pupils had taken to Zaria streets to protest the sack of their teachers, and vowed to resist the action by the Kaduna Government.
The pupils, who massed into all routes in the city, carried leaves and posters of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i with “ba ma so” (we do not want this), written under it.
Some of the pupils, who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said that they were out of the classes and on the streets to register their objection to the sack of the teachers.
The pupils appealed to the Kaduna State Government to reverse the decision in the interest of quality education in the state.
Reacting to the protest, the Kaduna State government accused teachers of “endangering” the lives of the poor children by throwing them into the streets.
The government, in a statement signed by Samaila Aruwan, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, warned that it would not accept such child abuse by teachers that had failed a simple test and were not qualified to teach.
It said that government’s action was in the best interest of the education sector, adding that quality teachers were being recruited to shore up the fortunes of the sector.