By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
“Mallami” Primarily School teachers in Zaria in northern Kaduna of Kaduna state have embarked on an aggressive prayer-and-fasting against the dismissals of 22,000 teachers in the state.
The prayer commenced side-by-side with the decision of the planned proposed strike by Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, which threatened to ‘shut down’ Kaduna should government continue with the dismissal.
Mallami’s prayers and fasting was instrumental to, and allegedly triggered the planned NUT strike threat, as Zaria is said to be one of the zone’s mostly affected by the government’s action in terms of numbers of teachers involved in the retrenchment exercise.
Although, the government under Mallam Nasir El-Rufai allegedly directed that the affected teachers be given another chance to apply for teaching appointments, the purported directive has been observed by many as a mere gimmick.
NUT Kaduna chapter had on Thursday threatened that it would result to serious strike action should government fail to reconsider the decision to dismiss almost 22,000, primary school teachers.
The union had held a press briefing where they declared their position on the state government’s plan to layoff the primary school teachers, for failure to pass Primary Four competency exams, arguing that the exams organised by government were not genuinely – as the teachers were not tested professionally.
It went on to say that the state government’s decision to ease off the teachers might plunge primary education back for 20 years.
Speaking further, Kaduna state chairman of NUT, Comrade Audu T. Amba, who briefed the Press, said the decision by the government to sack under-performing teachers solely lies with the Teachers Regulations Council of Nigeria, TCRN, and not that of Governor Nasir El-Rufai.