Buhari backs education reforms in Kaduna

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Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari has supported a plan by the governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai to carry out primary education reforms which could lead to the sacking of more than 20,000 teachers.

Buhari described as “very serious, a situation where teachers could not pass the examination that they are supposed to teach the children.”

The Nigeria president, who spoke at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Counicl (FEC) on Monday in Abuja, endorsed the primary education reforms being carried out by El-Rufai.

“It is a very tragic situation we are in, and this our gathering is one of the most important ones in this administration.

“I listened to one of the Nigerians I respect, he said after his training here in Nigeria and the United States, he went to his alma mater, his primary school to see what he could contribute.

“I won’t mention his name but when he went, he couldn’t differentiate between the students, the children and the teachers.

“And what El-Rufai is trying to do now is exactly what that man told me about 10 years ago,” Buhari said.

The president said the effect of decay in the education sector was glaring, vowing that his administration would change the situation for the better.

“Being an orphan, I still feel that boarding school moulded me. I spent nine years in boarding school, three in primary school and six in secondary school.

“In those days, teachers treat students like their own children. If you did well, they will tell you, you didn’t, they wouldn’t spare the rod.

“When I finished my secondary school, I didn’t work for a day, I refused to work for a day. I left home, I refused to work in the local government, and then I joined the army,” said Buhari.

As part of the reforms, Kaduna State carried out an assessment test on all its 33,000 primary school teachers to determine their suitability as teachers.

No fewer than 21,000 of the teachers failed to score the mandatory 75 per cent of the primary four examination administered.

El-Rufai has therefore decided to fire all the teachers that failed and to replace them.

The organised labour is currently inflamed by the decision of Kaduna government, but the government warned that there was no going back in the interest of posterity.

© NAN

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