One of the most controversial events of 2017 was the revelation by the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai that he is going to sack over 24,000 Teachers in the state after their woeful performance in a state wide organised teachers assessment test. The statement by El-rufai was subsequently backed up with pictures of scripts of some of the affected teachers uploaded on the social media by the Governor and some of his aides.
His number one critic, Senator Shehu Sanni led the pack of those opposing El-rufai for such an “anti-people” decision. However, recent events in other parts of Northern Nigeria has shined more light on why El-rufai had no other option but to wield the big stick on the 25,000 teachers.
Yesterday, the National Examination Council released the senior school certificate exams for the year 2017. The performance of some states in the examination were enough to leave anyone dismayed, most especially states with the lowest performance like Zamfara State with 12.9% performance rate, and Plateau who led the pack of states with the highest number of students that engaged in examination malpractice.
The two situations above, poor performance and examination malpractice are the consequences of the abysmal levels of education in both states, and the poor levels of education of teachers who are supposed to change that. Zamfara in particular has almost always recorded disappointing results in external examinations most especially WAEC and NECO.
The quality of teachers existing in these states has had a damaging effect on the state of education in the affected states. The state government has given an undeserving opportunity to teachers that are not fit to teach themselves, to teach children of other individuals.
In a time like this, the courageous acts of Nasir El-Rufai should be replicated in all states of the federation. If we can’t employ unqualified doctors and engineers while must we employ unqualified teachers? The situation in Zamfara State once again shows the state of education in Nigeria deserves a special intervention from the government.