Friday, 15 December 2017 15:41

More On Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Dismissal of 21,000 Teachers

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We posted an essay on December 13, 2017 regarding the trouble brewing in Kaduna State where the Governor dismissed 21,700 teachers from service for failing a test.. The teachers sued the government at the industrial court, seeking an injunction to restrain the government from chasing the teachers out of the classrooms on the basis of flunking a test conducted in June. On December 15, 2017, the court granted relief to the teachers.

The Court gave mixed messages. On one hand, the Court allowed Kaduna teachers to continue to do botched- up job of miseducating our children. On the other hand, the Court condemns and decries the low quality of teachers Kaduna State has. The Court says:  

The teachers should just step aside and save Kaduna and the Nation by bringing a gradual reduction to the production of un-educated illiterates on the streets. Now, these are primary school teachers, and if they eventually continue to teach the pupils to the secondary level, there is an assurance that they will turn to be one of the half-baked graduates that flock the Nigerian labour market.

There were no winners and no losers in this lawsuit. Both the Governor and the teachers have work to do.

The Court is too busy with dispensing justice and not equipped to delve into the nuances of learning and teaching and the administration of public schools as it pertains to the hiring and dismissal of teachers. Although the Court may not have the time and expertise to monitor teachers and what goes on in classroom, it can direct Kaduna State to take steps to improve things through ongoing retraining of the teaching staff. No meaningful learning can take place without qualified teachers.

Education of our children should be taken very seriously. No games should be played with the future of our nation that falls heavily upon the shoulders of our young children.. In order to properly educate our children, we shall first give teachers the skills and tools they need to do excellent job.

We are reading in the Nigerian newspapers that President Buhari is throwing his full weight in support of the State Governor’s action to fire 21,000 teachers. We advise caution and restraint. Nigerian schools and teachers are not solely to blame for the problems in education. Past and present political leaders have a large share of the blame.

For example, Southern  political leaders have been withholding both teachers’ salaries and materials needed for effective  teaching. Northern political leaders have failed to provide the security needed for teaching and learning to flourish. Spreading blame is childish and would do us  no good. Working together to solve our common educational problems is the best way to go.     

We repeat the recommendations we offered in our first essay before the Court decided the case.

(1)    Mandatory In-Service Programs for teachers during the week after regular hours of work and on weekend in order to strengthen teachers’ knowledge base and test-taking skills  during the week, where teachers may be provided with small stipends for participation.

(2)    A massive retraining of teachers during the months schools are closed aimed at strengthening skills in reading, writing, computation, and teaching area, also with stipends.

(3)    Teacher Certification Examination that requires teachers to pass a proficiency/competency  test in basic English, science math, and their teaching fields, where teachers pay a fee for the examination.

(4)    Teachers who fail to make acceptable scores on the Teacher Certificate after 2 or 3 attempts are asking to be dismissed, and those who pass should be the pool from which future employment decisions are made.

 Submitted by Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.