El-Rufai vs Kaduna Teachers: Perspectives of a Development Expert

Education does not only include the teaching of subjects to pupils, it also involves teaching of morals, culture, etiquettes and the likes. Employing an individual who does not have these features will be endangering the future of our children. For a brighter tomorrow, children should be taught by skilled manpower who have versatile knowledge on what subject they are directed to teach.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, raised alarm that over twenty thousand school teachers in Kaduna State failed Primary 4 examination, which led to the sack of the teachers. Although Governor El-Rufai has faced several criticisms from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the governor has stated categorically that his administration would not succumb to such politically motivated pressure and would proceed with recruiting new set of teachers in other to save the state’s educational sector.

Definitely, this recruitment of 25,000 new teachers if well managed should create opportunities for people who have the necessary skills and potential to restore quality to education in the State. Also, the parents of the children being taught can be rest assured that their children are getting the quality education which they so deserve. However, given the scale of the teachers that would be laid off, the multiplier effect of the decision on the economic conditions of the affected persons and their families would be very high.

We all know and agree that quality education is a prerequisite for good governance and in turn good governance enhances quality education. The hope of every parent is that the school system will help the child develop his/her innate potentials in life. This can only be achieved if the type of education given to the child is of high quality. Quality education is also one of the most powerful catalysts for sustainable development thereby making the impact of the teachers in the performance of the students vital. Also, teachers are the facilitators who are to impact the students with the concepts expected to be learnt.

However, substituting the teachers with the new set of teachers may not bring the desired result at the end. Teaching requires a lot such as special trainings, skills and arts. What if these 25,000 teachers to be employed by the government are not professionals or vocationally trained and equipped as teachers? Apart from the so-called paper certificate attained from the higher institution or even probably forged, do they have the competence, experience and wherewithal to take up this job and make the desired difference. These are some of the prerequisites the government should take into consideration.

Rather than displacing those sacked teachers, the government may adopt a more pacific approach of training the said teachers on the necessary skills which they lack, and if some of them are unable to learn then they can be pushed into other sectors in which they would be productive and from which they can earn a living. This would help in ensuring that the government does not create additional problems (joblessness and poverty) while trying to solve one (quality education).



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