-Will Some of them form part of the contingent to Liberia?
In the wake of President George Weah’s request for Nigeria to send 6000 teachers to Liberia, the country’s Punch Newspaper has reported that out of 33, 000 teachers 21, 780 failed the primary four test administered to analyze the teachers’ competence by the Kaduna State government.
Following his request for 6000 Nigerian teachers to come to Liberia, President Weah on Monday said political change was meaningless without development, prosperity and growth; therefore the coming of the teachers was necessary to fill the ‘educational void.’
Weah made the statement while addressing State House correspondents, following the end of a meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said he was in Nigeria on a mission of gratitude and respect for the roles that Buhari and Nigerians had played in maintaining peace and stability in the West African sub-region, particularly in Liberia.
Although Nigeria’s economy is the largest in Africa and the country has the most powerful army in the sub-region, President Weah said “the country has never used its wealth and military prowess to expand its territory, threaten its neighbors, or destabilize any sovereign nation in the region.”
He said Liberia needed Nigeria’s support to jump-start its economy.
President Weah noted that Nigerian teachers and medical volunteers, under the Technical Assistance Corps Agreement with Liberia, had been crucial in boosting human capacity development in Liberia.
Weah expressed the hope that the assistance could be considerably increased to address his country’s most pressing socioeconomic needs at this time.
He added, “More specifically, under the Bilateral Teacher Exchange Program, we are seeking 6,000 plus teachers to make up for the shortage of good teachers in our educational system.”
But following the failure of the 21, 780 Nigerian teachers, the Punch newspaper has reported that Kaduna State is shopping for about 25,000 new teachers as it plans to restore dignity and quality to education. Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State unveiled the planned recruitment when he received a World Bank’s delegation in Kaduna in October last year.
“We tested our 33,000 primary school teachers, we gave them primary four examination and required they must get at least 75 percent, but I am sad to announce that 66 percent of them failed to get the requirements,” el-Rufai said.
Governor el-Rufai added, “The hiring of teachers in the past was politicized and we intend to change that by bringing in young and qualified primary school teachers to restore the dignity of education in the state.”
He stressed that teachers would be redeployed across the state to balance the issue of teacher-pupil ratio. “We have a challenge with the teacher-pupil ratio in the urban schools; there is concentration of teachers that are not needed.
“In some local government areas, there’s a teacher- pupil ratio of 1-9 while in some places it’s 1-100. It is sad that our teachers failed an examination which we expected them to pass convincingly, 100 percent. Unfortunately, the majority of them couldn’t even get 75 per cent.
It is really sad, teachers who you think had passed their primary and secondary schools’ examination and went through the National training,” the Governor declared.
Up to press time last night, it was not clear whether Nigeria would send such a huge number of her teachers, to include some of those who failed the examination.