UPDATED: Buhari backs El-Rufai’s school reform plans, condemns incompetent teachers

El Rufai and Buhari [Photo: Pulse.ng]
El Rufai and Buhari [Photo: Pulse.ng]

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday declared support for the primary school reform being undertaken by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.

The governor has announced plans to sack about 22,000 teachers who failed a competency test. The Kaduna government has also commenced the process to recruit 25,000 competent teachers to replace the ones to be laid off.

The move to lay off the ‘unfit’ teachers has been condemned by labour unions in the state as well as a senator, Shehu Sani, who accused the governor of trying to replace the teachers with his cronies.

On Monday, President Buhari expressed his stance at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa.

“I visit one Nigerian I respect. He said after his training here in Nigeria and United states, he went to his primary school to see what could he contribute, I will not mention his name; but when he went, he couldn’t differentiate between the students or the children and the teachers,” the president said.

“And what El-Rufai is trying to do now is exactly what (the respected Nigerian) told me 10 years ago. It is a very very serious situation when teachers cannot pass the exams they are supposed to teach the children to pass. It is a very tragic situation we are in and this gathering together to me is one of the important (things) in this administration,” Mr. Buhari said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how two-thirds of primary school teachers in Kaduna State failed to score up to 75 per cent when asked to write examinations. Most of the questions contained in the examination where those of primary four students, the state government said.

Scripts of some of the teachers released by the state government showed they had difficulty answering questions like the full name of the governor and the three states of matter.

Despite the opposition to the move the sack the ‘unfit’ teachers, Mr. El-Rufai has said there is no going back, while the state government has started receiving applications for the 25,000 teachers to be employed.


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  • Abdullah Musa

    Most probably misled by El Rufa’I.

    • Hamza

      Are you also a product of those terrible teachers? I am beginning to think so

      • Abdullah Musa

        Your good teachers taught you to easily generalise.
        I won’t like to be such product.

  • dami

    El ruafai has good intentions…the teachers are poorly qualified so not sure how they will actually teach others and the result will always be poor students. However this must be done in a diplomatic way, pay offs must be made as and at when due…also he is sacking 22,000 to hire 25,000…so really the state gains eventually.

  • sympa

    I really support El-Rufai’s move on this. How can you have teachers that can’t pass the simplest P4 questions, teaching?
    #only in nigeria

    • emmanuel

      Our (16+6) Finance Minister and president are in that category

      • Eluba Inas

        Do not divert the discussion. Do you support El-Rufa’i or not?

  • Buharin daji

    I believe the Labour union version of the story the whole thing is a manipulation by El Rufai…and I expect such endorsements from the Certificateless one.

    • Hamza

      You are simply sick!

      • Buharin daji

        At least I’m not a fanatical rag headed nepotist like your people

    • dan arewa

      Are you the famous zamfara cattle rustler by the name Buharin Daji ? Criminal

      • emmanuel

        Kai, what a rampaging miscreant.
        I dey laff here. You made my afternoon.

      • Buharin daji

        Mumu

  • Aminu Baba

    Only retrogressive morons with stagnated brains would not go with governor el-Rufai on this laudable educational reforms in Kaduna State. Just like the strength of every tree lies with its roots, the strength of every building in its foundation, so does the fulcrum of our educational development hinge on a sound Primary School Education. El-Rufai noted much early in his administration, the decadence due to age old neglect, of this vital sector of our education which preceding regimes conveniently ignored or even wickedly exploited for their political gains. He rightly decided to do something about it by first all reviewing the LG support and the schools’ infrastructure. Then he went about securing their premises and improving the learning and teaching environment for pupils and teachers respectively, including the famous school feeding program, which has dramatically led to a doubling of school enrollment, in order to facilitate the free education agenda of the APC government. The big question to ask sceptics and the labour unions is how do they expect the government to succeed in imbuing quality education to our young tender children with these riff raff materials holding dubious qualifications? Why do they think Universities organize UTME despite the fact that all the candidates have made their WAEC and NECO? Why do organisations the world over hold interviews for prospective employees despite the fact that they have vetted their CVs? Now we all know what has been going on with Primary School teacher recruitment at LG level over the years. Can anybody tell me he or she has ever seen an advert for teachers by LG in this country? Or even a public announcement for “Interview” of LG teachers? They mostly get hired through the back door of political patronages, personal favours and “in-house” arrangees and nepotism. Neglible few get in on merit really and all of us know that but only El-Rufai, upon all the governors we have in this country, has the courage to say enough is enough of this self destructive indulgence! This is the change we voted for!

  • soulchild

    This right here is the reason the educationally disadvantaged states are virtually all in the north. How on earth can ANYONE justify retaining those illiterate teachers? Must everything be politicized in this country.

    Shehu Sani and Ayuba Waba most likely have their kids either abroad or in posh schools in Nigeria. Wetin concern them? After all, they only see those other poor kids as political tools for the future. Bloody hypocrites!!!!

    • emmanuel

      So who would purge the others in that category who populate the Civil service and Nigeria customs running into hundreds of thousands? Most of them are Permanent secretaries and Directors already- the reason why Nigeria is among the permanently backward countries of the world.
      These same bunch of low brained humans, think that it is their birth right to be bosses, so lord it over those who should drive changes.
      Imagine one of such in the person of current IGP who stated that nothing was wrong in him having romantic relationship with a subordinate. Same question the other pot-bellied Senator whose video was in the media for having two-some sexual rump with two young girls this year.
      The same poor education is the denominator in both situations, as they are yet to evolve from the arid sahara North several hundred of years after modern civilisation and technological advancement has opened up the world.

  • emmanuel

    Good thought and speak.
    However, it is not a Buhari who has no brain or certificate or did not write secondary school certificate examination that should speak in such a case.
    A morally bankrupt fellow who would rather CBN sell FOREX to his muslim pilgrims at N200.00 a $1.00 against students at N362.00 to $1.00 should not show himself at all in this matter, because he hates education and would rather that all men herd cattle.
    Unfortunately, El-Rufai may end up employing Southerners to fill the openings, because the level of intelligence up there is quite poor and not more than the primary IQ in the south – a heritage passed to the people by the elites who think that stealing money from the centre alone is all about life.
    Imagine Senator Kazuare who could not differentiate between import and export in his Yam export motion recently, is a blue blooded elite from the North.
    His speech was a disaster and shame to modern civilisation.

    • Mr.Val

      Wow,I can’t say it better,thank you for making my day.I can bet that Buhari himself will also fail primary four papers,it’s that bad up there in the north.My grand daughter needs to score over 168 to enter ‘Unity School’ while her mates in most northern states just need to score 2,haba !

      • dan arewa

        Myopic LIAR !!!

        • Mr.Val

          Just prove me wrong with verifiable facts.

        • Mr.Val

          Disparity in unity schools’ cut-off marks as an albatross,Guardian of 9th March,2017.
          “A young girl seeking admission into any of the country’s 104 Federal Government Colleges (Unity Schools) from Anambra State must score 139 points out of a possible 300 to stand a chance of being taken”.
          But her counterpart from Zamfara state only needs to guess two answers right; in order words, she is required to have just two points. And so, Nigeria’s admission policy into national colleges is considered by some educationists as primarily designed to foster mediocrity though its stated intent is to promote unity among Nigeria’s over 300 ethnic nationalities.

          @Dan Arewa do you need details of 2015 and 2016 cut off details,showing how a Taraba and Yobe cow heads need to score 3 and 2 respectively to gain admission into the same colleges that A Biafran girl or Yoruba boy is expected score over 130 marks?

        • Mr.Val

          Any place where the blind lead those with sight,and the lame lead the the strong and healthy is worse than a zoo.My grand daughter needs to score 168 to gain admission to the unity college,while her mates in most states of northern nigeria need to score only TWO(2) to enter the same unity college.

      • aisha ani

        That is not the point Mr Val, we cannot move forward if we refuse to support the people trying to make a difference. Please put aside your tribal or religious bias and look at the big picture.

    • dan arewa

      El rufai can not be rivalled by your father.Know that you do not have the monopoly of vain and useless insults.Idiot.

      • emmanuel

        My father; a great and honourable man has virtues, and would not have a paid a Hadiza Bala Usman, $18,000.00 per month as NYSC allowee at the then FCT.
        I am not from a family of rouges, but from a home and progenitors who knew/know honour as a virtue.
        Please note, that lots of Mafia Dons and drug lords world over, find their way into societal development fabric through charitable acts, but never make the honour role of great men.
        My father in his sphere of influence would not seaze peoples land and allocate such to cronies, multiple wives and girlfriend, because they know that future generations would pay for such – such as the calamities that did hit his household in the past.
        You have just exhibited the Northern virtues i highlighted by your comment, i sori for you – it our turn to rule, with nothing upstairs to offer

        • emmanuel

          * honour roll

        • pambegua

          I hope you mentioned the name of that your fake father to confirmed if what you say about him is true

          • emmanuel

            My father cannot be fake to have groomed me to tackle you, in your self deluded multiple moniker undertaker job for El-Rufai and your other masters.
            From the days of 234Next, to-date, he has deployed your likes to do undertaker jobs for him in the media. Unfortunately, the more you try, the cheaper he becomes as a bad product for public leadership.

          • pambegua

            Agreed your father is not fake But he did not groom you well. BUHARI you are insulting had achieved and done more to this country compare to what yourself and your father had Achieved. ElRufai you are insulting is presently a Governor which will take you and your father million years to be a Governor unless you stop insulting great men. The more you insult Great men the farer your Generation achieved anything good

    • pambegua

      This Emmanuel self! I wonder which school this Emmanuel attend sef. I

      • emmanuel

        Almangeri Primary school around Rija Lemo in Kano, followed by Adult education classes at Badawa, also in Kano and came down south to study under an Alfa in Ibadan for an Islamic distant degree programme sponsored by a sheik from Sudan

        • pambegua

          No wonder you speak anyhow. ‘It is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog that is what wins a BATTLE. It is not because you come from the south then that makes you more educated than the northerners. I agreed Western education earlier was accepted more in the SOUTH(WEST) than how it is accepted in the NORTH. Majority of northerners who studies in the SOUTH come top of their class(me inclusive)

          This is one northerner who had an unbeatable record till date from UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN a Southern university filled with Igbo’s and Yoruba’s
          PROFESSOR JIBRIN AMINU

    • marcos avelino

      Which intelligence do the southern nigerian negroe has , your grand fathher was an animist worshipping forest spirits just 90 years ago while up north they they have been literate for hundreds of years.

      • emmanuel

        Good to know your people became civilised earlier than us, yet your brains cannot comprehend simple facts about human existence, development and academics.
        Your fore fathers where known to be children birthed by unknown Arabian slaves who accompanied their masters for trade in the sub-Saharan Africa, by women who sold Fura and Kunu to them during such expedition. That did not qualify you for civilisation and has left you in quandary of ignorance.
        That is why we are not surprised that the indigenous people of Northern Nigeria have better brains than your people

  • Pluti

    For once One can laud El-Rufai, only an ignorant man will be against such a tremendous step, which is only a starting point for educational reform in Kaduna state. An example to other states because education is actually the key

    • aisha ani

      Think how much money parents will save if they don’t need to pay for lesson teachers, in addition to the children’s school fees.

  • Hauwa A. Mohammed

    Education standards have fallen in the country, from primary, secondary to tertiary levels, and the population of children continue to rise without commensurate services. El Rufa ‘ has once again, shown the way for all our governors to emulate. The sacked teachers should be paid their emoluments so they become self employed, after all, how many Nigerians are employed by government? 90% of Nigerians are self employed! Moreover, getting good teachers to tutor the kids of the poor, who are in government schools is the only way to bridge the education gap between the rich and poor kids. So Weldone, Gov Nasiru El Rufa ‘!

    • thusspokez

      Education standards have fallen in the country, from primary, secondary to tertiary levels

      Timeline of the fall in standard of education in Nigeria

      When there was 12 states, I was a primary school teacher.
      At 19 states, I became a secondary school teacher.
      At 30 states, I became a university lecturer.
      At 36 states, I became university professor.

  • Frank Bassey

    What is this supposed to mean? Did the problem begin today?

    • dan arewa

      Your father could be worse if given Nigerian leadership.MUMU

      • Frank Bassey

        Father? Do you know who your father is? When you are the 29th of a man’s 30 children with 4 wives and innumerable concubines. Look at your comment. Dust-filled head. Silent thieves.

        • marcos avelino

          Ignorant tribal bigot , there are virtually no concubines today , and less than 0.000001 percent have four wives

          • Frank Bassey

            Fura du Nunu Statistics from Zamfara and Kano states. Well researched dole-out from IDP camps. I can see that Atlantic Ocean has moved to the North.

        • emmanuel

          That is why he is dan arewa. No parternal identity.
          I learnt the husband of his mother (who was supposed to be his father) was in the farm, when a cattle rearer offered the mother to milk one cow that day for a bout of s*x, which she obliged and the consequent siring of this bast*rd half educated illegal primitive lead miner in Zamfara.

  • Tish

    I agree with Buhari but should the same not apply to incompetent leaders like them

    • aisha ani

      We have to start from somewhere and now is the time.

  • thusspokez

    President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday declared support for the primary school reform being undertaken by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.

    El-Rufai has turned a small local problem into a national one; and his next stop is the world. Expect World leaders to join in, in the debate soon. But what does this tell us about the management style of El-Rufai? A man who it would seem makes more noise about policies than he can deliver.

    The aforementioned tests was a data gathering and analysis exercise with which to improve the Kaduna state education system. Instead El-Rufai chose to use it to ridicule the teachers.

    I have commented on the matter few times in the past few days and the need to find a solution which considers the fact that most of these 25,000 teachers would be the sole bread winners in their families. And if they are made jobless with no financial supports, 80, 000+ people might suffer along with them.

    So I suggest that the Kaduna state government give them half pay and put them through 6-18 months intensive teaching programmes. And then sack anyone who still fails to reach the required teaching standards. This is how civilised people solve problems. El-Rufai, being a Nigeria, of course, prefers the confrontational and brute force method — favourite of Nigerian decision makers.

    Think of those Nigerians who are always calling for the dismemberment of Nigeria because, according to them, Nigeria is not working for them. This is similar to El-Rufai’s mindset. He plans to butcher 25,000 jobs, but where would he find 25, 000 new teachers to replace those he intends to sack? If these potential recruits are any good, why had they not found teaching jobs, but are unemployed instead?

    • Usman Idris

      Succinct!. Give our so called leaders leadership exams and see how many will pass.

    • pheliciti

      It’s actually a national problem, the roots are only just manifesting to the hitherto uninterested people. Forget the fact that they acquired poor education in Kaduna- they will work in other states and in Abuja.
      Some questions from your response;
      Where does the Kaduna State govt get money to pay charlatans teachers while it trains them?
      Is it really conscionable to pay people that took jobs they weren’t qualified?
      Who takes care of retraining their many victims of years of incompetence?

      • marc umeh

        Don’t mind them. From incompetent teachers to half- baked students to university admission by quota system. From there it will go on to jobs by ethnicity.
        The damage is there for all to see. Retrain ic you must but compassion is no alternative to competence. The future is at stake

      • thusspokez

        Forget the fact that they acquired poor education in Kaduna- they will work in other states and in Abuja

        Yeah, some of them will even work in other countries e.g., US, UK, Germany, etc., so why don’t we call it an international problem?

        How does poor education system in Kaduna state directly affect education in Lagos, Kogi, Edo, or Anambra states?

        Is it really conscionable to pay people that took jobs they weren’t qualified?

        Someone gave them the jobs and inspected their work or maybe not. Why then has El-Rufai not sacked his grossly incompetent inspectors of education whose job it is to see standard of teaching maintained, but didn’t.

        Who takes care of retraining their many victims of years of incompetence?

        You want them punished — typical Nigerian use of aggression to solve problem — but for what? Since when did it become a crime to be bad at one’s job.

        • pheliciti

          You get me wrong…. I’ll rather spend money to retrain the young students who were the victims than retain the charlatans.
          How does poor education in Kaduna affect other States? Mobility of labour….

        • Eluba Inas

          You generally get it, but this time you missed the train. A half-baked student from any state affects the rest in a profound way—productivity, capability, capacity and many others. Just wait until they start working together and you will how he will retrogress the rest of the team.

          • thusspokez

            Why are are you repeating what @phelictiti has already said, and to which I have given a response?

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect, if the 22,000 Kaduna teachers are umqualified, so also is Buhari unqualified, Buhari cannot pass the test or intervoew for any Supervisory or mamager position, he cannot even manage a 100 cows and yet he is best to manage a cluntry when we are seeing the woeful and abysmal results, he does not even know what is happening in his government, he is a dullard moron who cant debate.