Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna
As the ongoing strike by primary school teachers in Kaduna State entered its fifth day on Thursday, there was no indication that it would come to an end soon.
To make the matter worse, workers from the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, joined their colleagues in solidarity to protest the sacking of over 20,000 teachers in the state.
Despite the presence of armed security personnel, the workers, led by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, took to the streets of Kaduna to protest the action of Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
While addressing the workers, Wabba said the NLC learnt that the sacking of the teachers by the governor was as a precondition for receiving a loan from the World Bank.
He argued that the attitude of the governor toward workers in the state was inimical to development.
Also, speaking during the rally, the Chairman of the Kaduna chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Mr. Audu Amba, said the issue of competency test was overblown by the state government.
Amba noted that there would have been no need for the rally if the government had kept to its agreement with the teachers to fix the pass mark for the competency test at 60 per cent instead of 75 per cent.
He said the ongoing strike would have been avoided if the government had not reneged on the agreement.
He said, “Had the governor obeyed the court injunction restraining him from sacking the teachers, there wouldn’t have been any need for this strike.”
The striking teachers have continued to stay away from the classrooms. When our correspondent visited some schools in the metropolis, he found that they were deserted and devoid of any form of academic activity.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board, Malam Nasiru Umar urged parents and guardians to send their children to school, reminding them that the second term had already begun.
Umar also said the results of the aptitude test conducted by the state government for the recruitment of 25,000 primary school teachers would be released soon.
“The scripts of more than 40,000 applicants who sat the examination have been marked and data entry is ongoing. The date for the oral interview will be announced as soon as the result is ready,” he said.
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