About 1300 teachers in Kaduna have failed in tests generally set for primary four pupils, Commissioner for Education Alhaji Usman Mohammed has revealed. He made the shocking disclosure at an education summit tagged “Education for all is responsibility of all”, held at the Hassan Usman Katsina House yesterday.
“A total of 1,599 teachers selected from across the state were given primary four tests in Mathematics and Basic literacy. Only one of them scored 75 percent, 250 scored between 50 to 75 percent and 1,300 scored below 25 percent,” he said. According to him, the same examination was conducted for 1,800 primary school pupils but that larger percent of them failed woefully. “We are not surprised about the performance of the pupils because how can they know it, when their teachers don’t know it,” he added.
The commissioner said larger percentage of the head teachers of the primary schools are not competent, and also that majority of the Education Secretaries of local government areas are appointed based on political patronage hence their inability to perform well. In November last year, late Governor Patrick Yakowa also disclosed at the graduation ceremony of the National Teachers Institute, Kaduna, that a verification exercise by the state government had revealed no fewer than 2,000 teachers with fake certificates employed in public schools.
Mohammed said the state has established a quality assurance board to evaluate and monitor standard of education in the state. The chairman of the state House of Assembly committee on education Yunusa Mohammad said out of the 36,000 teachers in the state, 15,000 are not qualified. The chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Ishaya Dare Akau said for the rot in the sector to be addressed, local government chairmen must give attention to the primary schools sector. “The problem we are facing today is as a result of problems in the education sector. The issue of Boko Haram is one of it. Our failure to train these youths is making us to spend more money on security. If you fail to spend money on the education of the children, one day you will spend more money in buying bullets to kill them,” he said.
In his address, Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero said if need be, his administration would declare a state of emergency in the education sector in order to address the rot there in. “Education is second to security in the priorities of our administration. So therefore, I will not hesitate to declare state of emergency on the sector to address the rot. We need practical not theoretical solution. State government is investing heavily on the education sector,” he said.
The governor, while challenging local government chairmen in the state on training of primary school teachers, stressed that for the teachers to perform well, they must be trained regularly. “The teachers are yours; you employed them, and promote them when necessary. So, they are yours. I urge you the local government chairmen to look critically at the workforce and try to eliminate those that are not qualified. If you allow the situation to continue like this, the sector will collapse,” he said. Reacting to the survey, the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna, Comrade Audu T. Amba said he was not aware of the survey. “I was supposed to be at the summit but I could not make it. I don’t know when, where and how the survey was conducted. Sometime last year, they came out and said 18,000 teachers are unqualified but how many teachers do we have in the state? Who employed the unqualified teachers ? It is the same government that employed them. “If selfish interest is not removed in recruitment, we will continue to have the problem. If government is complaining, who do we blame? The government should be blamed for it,” he said in a telephone interview. To improve the performance of teachers, the Director-General of National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna Dr, Aminu Ladan Sharehu said teachers must be trained at least thrice in year. “Three things must be done to enhance the capacity of teachers. One, there must be continued capacity training of teachers at least thrice a year. Two, teachers should be encouraged to upgrade and update their academic qualification and thirdly, the welfare and remunerations of teachers should be enhanced,” he said.