NUT warns El rufai stand down on planned sack of 21,780 teachers

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By Ben Agande
Kaduna – The Kaduna state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has given the Kaduna State government a two week notice to stand down on the planned sack of 21,780 primary school teachers or face an indefinite strike.

In a letter written to the governor of the state, Nasir El Rufai, the teachers accused the governor of shifting the goal post in the middle of the game in its agreement with the teachers’ umbrella body.

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State

The open letter which was read by the state chairman of the NUT, Audu Amba in Kaduna Monday noted that contrary to the agreement reached between the state government and the NUT, it was initially agreed by all stakeholders in the education sector that the pass mark for the competency test be pegged at 60 per cent, while those who are unable to score up to 60 per cent be retrained.

He noted that though the NUT was aware of the position of the law as it relates to which body would test the competence of teachers, “cooperated with the Kaduna State government under the mistaken believe that the intention of the state government was altruistic, in the sense that it is aimed at enhancing state. However, with the benefit of hindsight we now know better.

“That it is agreed by all stakeholders in the educational sector that the pass mark for the competency test be pegged at 60 per cent while those who are unable to score up to 60 per cent be retrained.

“However, in a classical display of bad faith which started as a rumour, the Kaduna State government unilaterally and arbitrarily pegged the pass mark for the competency test at an unprecedented 75 per cent.

“Your Excellency, while hosting a delegation of World Bank officials, you announced to the whole world that 21,780 teachers will be disengaged in Kaduna State Public primary and secondary schools for not scoring up to 75 per cent in the competency test, while 25,000 will be recruited in their stead.

“That, the NUT, Kaduna State Wing wrote a letter to you, appealing to your conscience to rescind the decision above, but as usual, you ignored the letter and went ahead with your avowed determination to impose your will against the consensus of bonafide stakeholders in the educational sector.

“The NUT subsequently as a last resort and in the spirit of constitutional democracy, rule of law, due process decided to approach the National Industrial Court, Kaduna division to adjudicate on the issue of whether the Kaduna State government has the statutory power to conduct the competency test and which Court processes have been served on you and the office of the Attorney General.

“However, contrary to all standards of decency in a democratic setting and in spite of the service of Court process on the Kaduna State government, you have gone ahead to publish on your tweeter handle, a list of teachers who purportedly passed the competency test by scoring 75 per cent and above.

“All the above, leaves the Kaduna State Wing of the NUT with no option other than to serve the instant notice in compliance with the wishes of its members expressed at the meeting of the state wing executive council held on the 6th November, 2017”, the letter read.

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