•Plans to recruit 10,000 teachers
•Says poor children deserve competent teachers
By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo, with agency report
Kaduna — The Kaduna State Government has threatened to sack more unqualified teachers in the state even as the controversy over the June 19, sack of 2,357 primary school teachers for failing the government’s competency tests, is still raging on.
This came as the government said it plans to recruit 10,000 primary school teachers to replace disengaged ones and improve teacher-pupil ratio, saying the children from poor homes deserve competent teachers.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, made this known yesterday at the inauguration of the distribution of learning materials to pupils in 4,260 public primary schools and 838 learning centres.
The state government had on June 19, announced the sack of 2,357 primary school teachers for failing the government’s competency tests.
Recall that the state government had in 2018 sacked 21,780, for failing a similar test while 233 others were sacked in December 2021 for allegedly presenting fake certificates.
According to the deputy governor, the government would continue to weed unqualified teachers in public schools and no amount of distraction would stop it, saying “The quality of instruction is very important in determining the educational outcomes of our children and we cannot allow only the children of a few to steal the advantage that education provides.
“Nor shall we continue to allow poor quality education to be available to the children of the weak and vulnerable in our society, who attends public schools.
“Children of the poor also deserve competent teachers, and it is our sworn responsibility to ensure that they get it.”
Balarabe said the state government had renovated more than 500 public primary and secondary schools and provided perimeter fencing in many schools as required by UN agencies for the security of children.
She noted that new schools were built including new science secondary schools and many blocks of classrooms constructed in primary and other secondary schools across the state.
Balarabe said that the Better Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA, and the state primary education development projects had ensured construction of more classrooms at the primary school level.
According to her, “This is to accommodate the return of out of school children to classes. However, as important as classrooms and physical structures are in creating conducive learning environments, lack of access to books pose an even greater challenge to learning.
“Therefore, our free book policy is to increase access to textbooks, exercise books, sandals, sharpeners, pencils, erasers, school bags and magnetic boards.”
The deputy governor when poor children were exposed to books early, they would learn to read better, adding that the more children had access to books the more likely they would learn better.
She noted that the problems in education were “simply overwhelming” adding that the government alone could not bear the burden.
“That is why other stakeholders must come in with more commitments if we are to make any meaningful progress.”