Governance all over the world isn’t an easy task. The bane of many politicians today has been how to translate great ideas that would better the lots of their people by enacting effective policies; channeled through proper governance. Trying to do this, many politicians have been meted with great resistance from oppositions, union bodies and a group of unscrupulous elements within the system who hitherto benefit from the old ways of doing things. Such is the current situation in Kaduna state where over 20,000 teachers had just been laid off for failing basic and simple competency test.
I read with so much laughter the placard by one of the protesting Kaduna State teachers. It read “Examination is not a True Test of Knowledge.” Now, of all the drama that has ensued with the laying off so far, this particular inscription on that placard got my attention. Isn’t it funny teachers now realize that education isn’t a true test of knowledge? In a nation where we constantly accuse the government of neglecting education, and not giving it the utmost attention it deserves; this coming from the so called teachers shows how hypocritical we could be as a people.
We claim we want change, and we repel such change when it comes. We prefer that our politicians maintain the status quo, and then we abuse them of underperforming. We say the educational system in the nation is deteriorating, and then we are here crucifying a governor who just laid off incompetent teachers in the said educational system. When are we going to realize that this action isn’t about politics, but about the future of the pupils who attend our public schools.
There are some of us who never had the privilege of attending private schools. I remember growing up; we had quality teachers in public primary schools back then. I attended one of the LEA primary schools in my state. I still thank God for those teachers because the quality they were made of, many private school teachers now may not even be able to compete favorably with them. The same thing I enjoyed in my secondary school days. You see teachers giving all their best in class, whether they have been paid or not. We had back then teachers who see teaching profession as a calling, and not as a way of escaping unemployment or a reward for some political followership.
If every politician in Nigeria will do what is right and not just what is popular, I believe this country will greatly move forward. What Governor Nasir El-Rufai is doing is just the right thing to do. And we should all know that true governance is about doing what is right. It is not so popular, and that is why it is been greeted with protests from the supposed sacked teachers. Over 20,000 unqualified teachers shouldn’t be left in the system to destroy the future of thousands of unborn children who would still go through these teachers. To sack them is the only political correctness in this matter. It would be interesting to know how many unqualified teachers parade themselves as qualified in our primary and secondary schools across the federation.
As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Education, through the Universal Basic Education; should mandate this kind of competency test across the state of the federation. This Kaduna state example is just an eye opener to this rot in our education system.