TRENDING: Nigerians react to El Rufai’s plan to sack over 20,000 teachers

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai

As controversy rages over the insistence of the Kaduna state government to sack over 20,000 teachers who recently failed the competency test, Nigerians have taken to various platforms, especially on Twitter, to share their thoughts.

Following threats by the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, to proceed on an indefinite strike from November 23, Governor Nasir El Rufai on Tuesday vowed to go ahead with the sack.

“We have received a notice from the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Kaduna State wing demanding that we rescind our decision on unqualified teachers or else they (will) go on an indefinite strike. But then we ask, what’s the point of that strike?” the governor questioned.

“To force us to violate our oath of office and retain unqualified teachers? We have sworn by the Holy Books that we will only do justice and we are committed to ensuring that the children of the poor in Kaduna State must get free basic and quality education,” he said via a Facebook post.

On Wednesday, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, led hundreds of demonstrators through the streets of Kaduna in protest against the planned sack.

The development has caused widespread outpouring of opinions from people from all works of life.

“Rather than sack the Kaduna teachers who failed the exams the state administered on them is it not better to train and retrain them? Why sack them and lose their years of experience?” Reno Omokri said in a tweet.

A co-convener of the BringBackOurGirls campaign, Aisha Yesufu, also waded in on the matter. She took the perspective of teachers being compared to doctors to awaken the consciousness of her followers.

She said “Would you allow unqualified doctors in hospitals because you think its “inhumane” to sack them? Unqualified teachers kill too. They kill the mind. A slow painless torturous one”.

Read more reactions here:


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  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    Would you fly in a plane with an unqualified pilot, or allow an unqualified operator to process your drinking water? Nigerians must get used to having the right people do things for reasons of public safety, efficiency and cost. Those so-called teachers don’t belong in any classroom!

  • thusspokez

    “Rather than sack the Kaduna teachers who failed the exams the state administered on them is it not better to train and retrain them? Why sack them and lose their years of experience?” Reno Omokri said in a tweet.

    This would be my preferred option too, but Nigerians always prefer confrontation and brute force to peaceful resolution of problems.

    These people are usually the only bread winners in their families. Over 80,000+ in Kaduna states would be negatively affected by the head of the family lose of income. I don’t want unqualified people to teach in schools, but a compromise would be to give them half pay and put them through a 6-18 month intensive teaching programmes, depending on the level of skills that need updating.

    In the 6-18 months, anyone who misses training or fail at the end of the 18 months would be fired. The rest would get their full pay back, and get back to teaching under a better supervision and regular inspection by the Kaduna state ministry of education or education inspectorate.

    BTW Highest on the list of people to sack should be the inspectors of education in the Kaduna ministry of education. Clearly, if they had done their jobs properly, Kaduna wouldn’t be in this mess.

  • Gary

    Nasir El-Rufai displays the classic overcompensation of people of his size when put in positions of power and authority over others of bigger stature.
    The Ayatollah of Kaduna now wants to fire thousands of teachers to prove what point? That they are not qualified or lack the required competencies to teach primary school pupils? So how and where will Kaduna find replacements?
    How about sending them in batches for in-service training rather than throwing them all into unemployment? What is wrong in showing kindness rather than always showing how tough you can get Mr. Governor?

  • m

    Elrufai is a man that lack wisdom in dealing with issues that concerns human beings. He is a man filled with the spirit of confusion. Yes, the teachers are not competent. Yes, they failed primary 4 exams. Yes, they can’t even speak English, but there are many methods you can use to change all these without the massive sack. You could start by identifying those that are trainable within short time, and those that cannot be trained because of age or not at all. You work with NUT, NLC as a team to sort them. Those that cannot be trained should be relieved and payoff. Your APC have caused over 29million Nigerians unemployed in just less than 3 years and here you are with your spirit of confusion sacking 21,000 people. Think twice man. Life is more than that.

    • share Idea

      Your advise is meant for people that have human conscience, and not the likes of the governor

      • tundemash

        ShareDunce, would you want an unqualified doctor to treat you at the hospital ?

    • IIS

      Interesting take on this subject and i agree with some of the things you said. I would rather that they are removed and made to go through the same process that the new applicants are going to go through. The exam they failed is primary 4 exam not SS1 or 2 but primary 4. They have no business teaching anyone in my opinion. Its actually shameful when you think of the long term impact they have had on students that have already passed through these teachers.
      So even though I can empathize with some of them there has to be some sort of punishment and i believe removing them completely from the system and making them reapply is better.
      Reading the sign that they have makes me very angry to be honest.

  • Höly Wähala

    Better an illiterate than get contaminated education, what’s the hoopla about? Gov. El-Rufai is right this time.

    • Gary

      Nobody’s questioning whether he’s right or wrong but if there are less drastic solutions to sacking thousands of unqualified or incompetent teachers.
      Are all these people beyond salvage or redemption? Do you know how many graduates ABU has produced through its remedial studies program? So why not consider a crash certificate program for some of these teachers?
      Why do most Nigerians always resort to military-style solutions to human problems?
      Dino Melaye sits in the Senate today despite his poor WASC and a controversial third class degree from ABU. He’s a Senator just like some of his peers in the chamber who are Professors.
      Sacking ten thousand plus teachers just because you can isn’t the going to work well for Kaduna State on the long run.
      El Rufai is now moving from demolishing houses to destroying lives in the name of advancing education in Kaduna State. Just to prove he’s a tough guy.

  • Mentus

    Failing exam after you have been in a post does not necessarily equate to being unqualified. After all the6 produce some sort of certificate when they attended interview.
    I bet majority of the people supporting El Rufai’s action stand a chance of failing exams in their workplaces if they have to go through one now.
    What is missing in employment in Nigeria is that employees are not continually updated and appraised regularly. Anybody in employment who is not constantly put on their toes to justify their pay will go rusty, regardless of their profession. One will be amazed at the number of so Professors, Doctors, Directors, even Police not to talk of Politicians who will fail exams on their role and performance at work.
    Did these teachers have yearly appraisal, Were they required to sit any exams before promotion. Did they have their papers re-marked by persons unknown to them.
    Unless the so called qualified ones being employed are constantly updated and made to attend yearly appraisal they will become ‘unqualified’ in a few year’s time.

  • Someone

    i dare him to sack all of them.

  • Eldorado

    Nigeria needs more El Rufais and the north needs radical educational reforms.
    Kudos to a governor who actually sends his son to a government school.
    Unlike the pretenders.
    When you’ve finished, come and be governor of Akwa Ibom.