By Festus Fifen.
Sequel to reactions trailing plans by the Kaduna State Government to sack 21, 780 teachers who recently failed the competency test conducted by the state government, President Muhammadu Buhari has thrown his weight behind the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-rufai describing it as a solution a friend suggested long ago.
President Buhari In his opening remarks at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the challenges facing the Education sector in Nigeria , with the theme: Education in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects, said it was no longer secret that the sector was in crisis especially with 13.2 million children out of school.
In his words, ” Having been an orphan, I still feel that whatever I did in life so far was built by boarding school. For nine years was in boarding school, three in primary and six in secondary school.
“In those days, teachers treat their students or children like their own children. If you did well they will tell you, you did well, if you don’t do well they never spared the rod.”
“And then I listened to one of the Nigerians I respect, he said after his training here in Nigeria and the United States, he went to his alma matta, his primary school to see what he could contribute. I won’t mention his name but when he went, he couldn’t differentiate between the students, the children and the teachers.”
” And what El-Rufai is trying to do now is exactly what that man told me about 10 years ago. It is a very very serious situation, when teachers cannot pass the exams that they are suppose to teach the children to pass. It is a very tragic situation we are in and this our gathering together to me is one of the most important in this administration.”
Buhari said the effect of decay in the education sector is glaring, assuring that his administration is determined to change the situation for the better.
This is even as the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has disclosed that the Buhari’s administration will need N1 trillion annually over the next four years to fulfilled the All Progressive Congress (APC) 13 campaign promises on education.
The Sun reports that about two third of primary school teachers in Kaduna State failed to score up to 75 per cent when asked to write examinations meant for primary four students, last month.
Nasir El-Rufai had told a World Bank delegation in his office that, “We tested our 33,000 primary school teachers, we gave them primary four exams and required they must get at least 75 per cent but I’m sad to announce that 66 per cent of them failed to get the requirements,” he said.
“The hiring of teachers in the past was politicized and we intend to change that by bringing in young and qualified primary school teachers to restore the dignity of education in the state,” he said.
The governor stated that his administration would disengage about 20,000 unqualified primary school teachers to restore confidence in public schools.
Mr. El-Rufai said the state will employ 25,000 primary school teachers as parts of efforts to restore dignity and quality to its education sector.