By Lawal A. Dogara, Kaduna
Addressing education reporters today ( Tuesday) in Kaduna, el-Rufai said that the strike was aimed at scuttling the ongoing education reforms, adding that the scripts of the 43,000 applicants who applied for teaching job has been marked and the result of the 25,000 teachers to be recruited would soon be released.
The Governor, who spoke through the Permanent Member II in the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Shehu Othman, said that the state government has opened attendance registers for teachers across the state to check those who are absent from their duty post in accordance with civil service rule.
El-Rufai reiterated that the strike action embarked upon by NUT was illegal, adding that he has directed education secretaries and school administrators to take count of teachers who resumed and those who did not for necessary actions. He however warned against politicising the educational reforms embarked upon by his government to protect the future of over 2 million pupils in the state.
“Parents should send their children to school, second term has began already. The list of successful candidates who sat for the aptitude test for the recruitment of 25,000 primary school teachers would soon be released. The scripts of the over 40,000 applicants who sat for the examination has been marked and data entry is ongoing. The date for the oral interview will be announced as soon as the result is ready.”
El-Rufai further states that teachers who complied with government directive in some schools across the state were being chased out by NUT officials and sending pupils home, thereby, disrupting teaching and learning. He called on teachers in the state for their own interest, disregard NUT strike action and return to work.
On National Industrial Court order, obtained by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) restraining the government from disengaging any teacher until the determination of the substantive suit before the court, Othman said that the unqualified teachers were sacked before the ruling.
“Schools are supposed to resume academic activities in Monday Jan. 8, but the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has directed its members to embark on indefinite strike same day over ongoing reform in the education sector. Among steps taken to reposition the sector was the competency test organised by the state government to determined the effectiveness of teachers in which 21,780 failed and were disengaged.
“NUT’s main agitation was to allow the affected teachers, who have no business in our schools having failed the competency test to continue to teach. But the Nasir el-Rufai government insisted that teachers that cannot pass primary four examination must not be allowed near its schools if the future of over 2 million pupils in the state must be protected.
“In fact, the NUT officials has gone as far as closing down Local Government Education Authority offices in some local government areas. The state government will not accept NUT’s use of force to drive away teachers in their lawful duty post. This is very disturbing because it is against Civil Service Rule to stop government official from discharging his/her official duty.