The National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has enjoined its members in Kaduna State not to take part in the competency test organised by the state government.
Mr Kelvin Nwankwo, the Deputy National President of the union, in a meeting with teachers in the state on Wednesday, noted that the directive of the national body is as a result of plans by the Kaduna State Government to conduct competency tests for public primary school teachers in December.
DAILY POST recalls that the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board had in July announced plans to conduct competency test for primary school teachers to ensure quality teaching in the state.
Permanent member, Human Resources Management, Kaduna SUBEB, Dr Christy Alademerin, explained that the competency test was to ensure that the state has the best of the best in the teaching profession in the state.
He further explained, “We are going to conduct the competency test to either weed out incompetent ones or whatever the outcome will look like, just to maintain the standards.”
The state wing of the union in a communique on August 18, while reacting to the development, assured that none of its members in public primary school would sit for the test.
According to Mr. Kelvin Nwankwo, the union’s NEC was behind the decision of the Kaduna state wing.
The Deputy National President of the union said that the teachers’ competence had been proved by various accredited universities and colleges of education and were also tested before they were hired as teachers.
He said that the NUT affirms and relies on the provisions of Section 1(d) Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) Act, CAP.T3 LFN 2004, which made provisions for the regulation and control of the teaching profession.
He noted that as teachers who belong to a professional body, registered and licensed, they shall only subject themselves to any professional recommendation issued by their Regulatory Council, but no other body.
He further stated, “The NEC had unequivocally resolved that no teacher should be subjected to any form of competency test under any guise or colouration but advised that issues of quality education should be pursued vigorously by the state government and teachers at all levels and at all times.”
The Deputy National President of the union enjoined the state governments to embark on a mandatory continuous training programme in line with the practice in all professions, such as nursing, medicine, and the legal profession.
He said that the teachers were available and willing to participate in refresher courses, workshops, seminars, or training to fill knowledge gaps in their various areas of specialisation in order to update their knowledge and skills.
He said that the Union is opposed to any political ploy aimed at easing teachers out of service, saying that with the pretext that such teachers had failed examinations.
The State Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Dalhatu, noted that only TRCN was legally empowered to conduct any form of competency test for teachers, said that teachers would not subject themselves to any test conducted by any other body.
Recall that the state government had in January 2018 sacked 21,780 primary school teachers for failing a competency test conducted in 2017 and recruited 25,000 qualified ones.