Chris Steven, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Teachers has opposed the Federal Government’s planned recruitment of 500,000 teachers for basic and secondary schools in the country.
The union in a statement by its General Secretary, Ikpe Obong, alleged that the process might be used as a means of political compensation,especially after the recent general elections.
NUT however cautioned that its leadership must be involved in the process of the recruitment in order for quacks not to be appointed into the teaching profession.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had in the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly,announced that government would recruit unemployed graduates from other disciplines to abridge the shortfall of teachers in the country.
However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had at a separate forum, explained that the teachers would be given training prior to absorbing them into the system.
Obong said,”The attention of the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers has been drawn to the pronouncement of the Federal Government to recruit 500,000 teachers for the
nations basic education and secondary schools.
“The National Executive Council of the Union at its meeting of 16th December, 2015 insisted that this planed policy of the Federal Government should only accommodate professional teachers – graduate teachers and NCE holders and not quacks and personnels who have not been duly trained as teachers no matter their qualifications.
“NUT will support the Federal Government in the actualization of this policy but wishes to caution the government against the temptation of using this policy as a means of compensation for political patronage as it was the practice in the past.
“Government must equally be ready to take the bull by the horn by driving this process to a conclusive level without being torpedoed by the usual slogan of “zero allocation to local government councils” which was most often used to prevent recruitment of teachers to the basic schools.
“This is the time the federal government must stop playing the ostrich but act as the ombudsman and rescue the dwindling image of the status of Nigeria education system now or never. Education being in the concurrent list is no licence for government to stay aloof and watch our education system collapse.
“As government intends to collaborate with the States and Local governments in this exercise it must be recalled that the Supreme Court has interpreted section 2 of the fourth schedule of the constitution of Nigeria that it is State that has the responsibility for primary education while the role of Local governments is only participatory.
“This policy must be comprehensive, strategic and sustainable for it to achieve the desired objective”.