The governorship aspirant of Kaduna State, Weynet Sidi has recently pointed out his view on the alleged state government plan to sack over 20,000 primary school teachers due to the claims by the state government that the teachers woefully failed an exams that was given to them which the questions were said to be primary four (4) pupils questions. Read his view below…

“My attention has been drawn to the alleged intention of the Kaduna State government to sack over 20,000 of its teachers. This I understand is coming against the backdrop of the teachers allegedly failing to pass an exam organised by the state government even were the state government further alleged that the said exams were suited for elementary four(primary four)pupils and wondered what quality of learning the said teachers would be imparting to the pupils they are supposed to be teaching.”

“When the position of the state government on this issue is taken on face value it seems reasonable but on further probing it becomes apparent that the alleged failure of the said teachers to pass a simple examination meant for elementary four(primary four)pupils is an indictment on the state government. So many questions are begging for answers with this discovery.”

“How can a government that declared a state of emergency in education when it came into office over two and a half years ago,only realise now that over 20,000,approximately 60% of its teaching staff lack requisite knowledge and training for the profession?Who is responsible for the training and retraining of teachers?How have the state government faired in terms of teachers compensation,conditions of service,remuneration and so on in its over two years in office ?What is the ratio of teachers to students in the state?What is the state of government owned schools in Kaduna State?

Only recently the state government claimed,while justifying its unthoughtful,ill conceived and wasteful school feeding programme, that it recorded 100%enrolment in to government schools from 1.1million pupils in 2015 to 2.2million pupils and counting today,even as there was no commiserate increase in the number of teachers to meet the alleged increase in enrolment.The state boasts of a paltry 34,000 teachers,when this is juxtaposed against the current number of pupils as alleged by the state government,the teacher/pupil ratio is approximately 1:70, a far cry from UNESCO’s 1:26 teacher/pupil ratio and a deficit of approximately 47,000 teachers.

Again when one looks at the government’s claim that it expended,wastefully,over N10billion on the now aborted school feeding programme in only nine months,it is easy to decipher what has put the state education sector in the precarious state that it is now. The state government has become renowned for misplaced priorities and show boating. The N10billion wasted on the so called school feeding programme could have been put to better use like training and retraining of teachers,recruitment of more teachers to meet the state’s shortfall,upgrading of existing delapetated structures and even building new ones.”

“There is no gain saying that teachers in Kaduna State are poorly motivated,many of them are still in the profession because of the passion that they have for teaching.It is not uncommon now to find teachers in the state with full-time ventures like farming,trading e.t.c that pays the bills and puts food on the table while still clinging on to the moral draining,poor condition of service/remuneration teaching profession because of the love and passion they have for the profession. Many teachers have worked for decades in the state without the benefit of basic training in a state that boasts of the National Teachers Institute and a retinue of teaching citadels. Any wonder why the state is referred to as the centre of learning?

The state government in running from its responsibility is seeking to take the path of list resistance in going for “ready made” teachers,if its plans to recruit 25,000 teachers to replace the teachers it intends to axe,is anything to go by. The government must retrace its steps,jettison the idea of laying off the said teachers and begin a state wide training and retraining of its teaching workforce.”

He furthermore advice the government on how to tackle some of these challenges. Read below…

“The present government must,as a matter of urgency,begin to get its priorities right both in the education sector and other sectors of the state.Government must be proactive and not reactionary,the government must do well to plug the holes draining the state of its resources like the needless and wasteful school feeding programme and other “white elephant” projects currently undertaken by the state government and use the monies saved to invest massively in education,including training and retraining of teacher,recruitment of more teachers to meet the state’s shortfall,improving the conditions of service and remuneration package for teachers in Kaduna State.”

“I believe that teachers reward should not be in Heaven, as it is often said in this clime,but here on earth, I believe that given the right training,our teachers here in Kaduna State would compete favourably with teachers anywhere in the world,I believe that with the right motivation,training and exposure,our teachers would impart world class learning to our children in Kaduna State. Teachers in the state should be given an opportunity not only to go for training within the state,but outside the state and even outside the shores of the country. It is achievable. Let’s join hands together to make the Kaduna of our dreams.”


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