The Kaduna State government said yesterday that it has obtained bench warrants for the arrest of violent protesters in the last year’s Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) protest against the sack of unqualified teachers in the state.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesman, Mr Samuel Aruwan, who addressed Journalists in Kaduna, maintained that, government must serve ordinary people, not only trade union members.
According to Aruwan, the Kaduna State government is encouraged by the overwhelming support of parents for its education reforms, adding that ordinary people clearly understand that the government is making public primary schools better for the sake of citizens and their children.
He explained: “The last time the NLC and NUT organised what they called a peaceful rally, they attacked the Kaduna State House of Assembly and destroyed public property in addition to engaging in unlawful assembly and other violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State. The Attorney-General of Kaduna State has filed criminal complaints and has obtained bench warrants for the arrest of those involved in the fomenting the chaos of Wednesday, 8th November 2017.
“They have seen failed teachers and the NUT disrupt schools as they try to force others to join the strike, and they know that it is the government that is standing for their interests.
“The state government believes in the equality of opportunity and is devoted to promoting social mobility through Education and Skills. It is the children of the poor that attend public primary schools, and public schools must not offer inferior education.
“Therefore, senior government officials, including Malam Nasir El-Rufai, who are themselves products of public education, believe that the children of the poor are entitled to decent education.
“The government’s programmes since 2015 have been propelled by a need to improve the learning environment and the quality of teaching. It has guaranteed nine years of free basic education in its public schools, and is determined that only qualified teachers will be allowed to mould the minds of the 2 million pupils currently in public primary schools.’’
No amount of sentiments will result in subjugating the future of these two million children to the caprices of poor teachers. Not strikes. Not blackmail. Not craven indulgence in tired clichés. The urgency of serving our people does not permit us to retain unqualified or redundant workers just because they were able to sneak in.
“Perhaps the labour unions are unable to identify or grapple with the great issues of the day if they are not prompted by external actors, but not every social actor shares that affliction.
“There is no way to even contemplate retaining teachers who have failed badly, and who are actually in need of adult education classes in Literacy and Numeracy.
The Kaduna State has disengaged failing teachers. 25,000 new teachers will replace the almost 22,000 that have proven unsuitable. The recruitment process will continue until we find the right calibre of teachers. The scripts of the 43,000 applicants who sat for teacher recruitment exams have been marked, and are being collated. The next phase is to interview and screen the candidates that passed the recruitment test,” Aruwan said.
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