Bauchi Tertiary Institutions’ Lecturers, Staff Embark On Two Weeks Warning Strike

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Academic and Non-Academic Staff Unions Bauchi State Tertiary institutions has declared a 14-day warning strike.

The industrial action takes effect from Wednesday, 19th to Sunday, 30th July 2022 in order to draw the attention of the Government to the legitimate demands of its members.

The Chairman and Secretary General of the association in a joint statement in Bauchi Friday said the move becomes necessary considering the magnitude of the issues bedvedling their memebers amid continuous government silence.

The union leaders demanded that all its members with outstanding salaries should be paid immediately, calling for immediate resumption of promotion implementation and annual increment which were abruptly stopped without any official communication since the inception of the Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir-led PDP government.

“We need to be engaged at all levels for necessary inputs for betterment and security of our members’ rights.

“We are watching with keen interest and hoping that other entitlements that go with it are also included, such as the annual increments.

“It is with a deep sense of responsibility, trust and burden bestowed on us by our respective congresses that we convened this meeting.

“The journey so far has been so long. Forces and life challenges have been so unimaginably unpredictable. JAC, in its cause of seeking justice, has interacted with the office of the Head of Civil Service, the Accountant General, the Commissioner of Education, Council Chairmen, and various stakeholders in the State.

“We appreciate their numerous audiences and genuine attempts to address our perennial and seriously disturbing problems. Equally of note is the laudable effort of His Excellency, Sen. Abdulkadir Bala Mohammed, Executive Governor of Bauchi State, in trying to clean and have a robust payroll payment system for the State”.

“JAC has equally written to the Government, series of letters, containing details of its problems/ demands/anomalies and consequences but without tangible result.

“Therefore, on 30th May 2022, JAC finally wrote a letter to His Excellency Sen. Abdulkadir Bala Mohammed, Executive Governor of Bauchi State, urging him to intervene in our plight. In our letter to His Excellency, we issued a one-month ultimatum for the Government to address these demands”, the statement read in parts.

According to him, “Based on these and some other issues mentioned above, JAC held a meeting and resolved to convey this information to the Government for possible positive development.”

(WikkiTimes)

Anambra school pupils reject promotion due to school feeding programme

The Programme Manager, National Homegrown School Feeding Scheme in Anambra state, Mrs Eriken Uzoamaka, has lamented that pupils across public primary schools in the state were rejecting promotion to senior classes.

Uzoamaka, who explained that the class 3 pupils in public primary schools usually kick against promotion to primary 4 due to the menu being served them while in classes 1 – 3 every school working day, noted that efforts were on ground to solve the challenge.

She disclosed this at Awka, the Anambra state capital, after a two-day capacity building workshop on Enhancing Social Protection Programme in Nigeria, organised by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ).

“We serve rich food to pupils in classes 1 to 3 as captured in the national homegrown school feeding scheme. That is why even those that agree to be promoted usually come to their junior class (primary 3) especially on Wednesdays to struggle for food with others. We serve beans and plantains (or with sweet potatoes) that day,” she noted.

Uzoamaka also listed other challenges facing the programme in the state to include hike in prices of commodities and death of 10 cooks, which according to her has made it impossible for affected schools to benefit because new cooks were yet to be employed by the federal government.

(Blueprint)

Kaduna govt sacks 2,357 teachers including NUT President – Official

The Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB) says it has dismissed 2,357 teachers who failed the recently conducted competency test.

Its spokesperson, Hauwa Mohammed, in a statement on Sunday in Kaduna, said the board conducted a competency test for over 30,000 teachers in December 2021.

She said that 2,192 primary school teachers including the National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Audu Amba, had been dismissed for refusing to sit for the competency test.

She said that some 165 of the 27,662 teachers that sat for the competency test were also sacked for poor performances.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Kaduna government in 2018 sacked 21,780 teachers who failed a competency test, and replaced them with 25,000 others recruited through vigorous processes.

In December 2021, the board also sacked 233 teachers over alleged possession of fake certificates.

“Following the state government’s resolution for continued assessment of teachers to ensure better delivery of learning outcomes for pupils, KADSUBEB conducted another competency test for the teachers in December 2021.

“The services of teachers who scored below 40 per cent are no longer required and their appointments have been terminated from the Public Service for their poor performances.

“Teachers who scored 75 per cent and above were recognised as those who passed the test and qualified for attending courses in leadership and school management,” she said.

According to her, qualified teachers will be included in Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programmes to enhance their capacities to deliver quality teaching to pupils.

Ms Mohammed said teachers who scored between 40 and 74 per cent did not meet up with the minimum pass mark, adding that they would be given second chance to improve their capacities.

The board, she said, has initiated viable training programmes for teachers under its statutory TPD with support from the state government and development partners.

“The training programmes will be conducted during end of term vacation and in their respective schools, to minimise disruptions of teaching and learning.

“They are also encouraged to complement the government’s efforts and seek personal development for their own good.

“The board is assuring teachers and the public that it remains committed to ensuring their continuous professional development and the improvement of the learning outcomes of pupils and students,” she said.

Reacting, Ibrahim Dalhatu, State Chairman, NUT, dismissed the competency test and the sacking of the affected teachers as “illegal”.

Mr Dalhatu said the union had secured a court order restraining the board from conducting the competency test, adding, however, that it conducted the test without recourse to the rule of law.

He recalled that the union had asked the teachers not to write the examination after learning that the intent was to sack them.

“We warned that any teacher who participates in the illegal examination would not be protected by the union if victimised but some of the teachers went ahead to write the examination out of fear.

“We are not against the conduct of the competency test if due process is followed, but it should not be used as a basis for sacking teachers.

“The competency test should be used to determine teachers’ capacity gap and tailored specific training programmes to improve their capacities,” he said.

When contacted, the NUT National President said he was aware of the development, adding that the National Executive Council of the union would sit on Wednesday, June 22, to come up with a position.

(Premium Times)

Provost seeks degree awarding status for Gidan Waya COE

Provost Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, Professor Alexander Kure, has renewed call for the upgrade of the college to a degree awarding institution for improved productivity.

The provost made the call during an interactive session with newsmen in his office in Gidan Waya during the week.

Professor Kure explained that since the state government has placed emphasis on employing degree holders in its primary and secondary schools, it was necessary to upgrade the institution to reap from the pool of qualified teachers being produced.

He noted with dismay how federal and state lawmakers from Southern Kaduna extraction have abandoned the school which has been suffering from paucity of funds to improve the standard of learning, challenging them to rally round the college by lobbying for the upgrade of the institution as well as for more projects to be cited in the school.

He pointed out that the college is over 40 years without being upgraded, adding that similar colleges in other states had become degree awarding institutions after just 20 years of existence.

Speaking on intake of students in the college, Professor Kure lamented that the number had reduced considerably, not because the people do not desire to study in the college, but because of the increase in school fees.

He appealed to the state government to consider a review of the cost of school fees, considering that most parents find it difficult to pay because of their financial status.

(Blueprint)

UNICEF Task FG on School Safety, says 11, 536 Shutdown Since 2020

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday called on the authorities in Nigeria to make schools safe and provide a secure learning environment for every child in Nigeria, especially for girls, to increase girls’ enrolment, retention, and completion of education.

This was contained in a statement released by its Communication Specialist, Samuel Kaalu, to mark the 8th Anniversary of the Abduction of 276 students at Government Girls’ Secondary School Chibok.

According to UNICEF, a total of 11, 536 schools were closed since December 2020 due to abductions and security issues and these school closures have impacted the education of approximately 1.3 million children in the 2020/21 academic year.

The statement said the interruption of learning contributes to gaps in children’s knowledge and skills and may lead to the loss of approximately 3.4 billion USD in these children’s lifetime earnings. This, risks to further perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequality.

It stated that “UNICEF, with generous funding from donors, is collaborating with the government of Nigeria to protect children’s right to education in a safe and inclusive learning environment. This involves building the capacity of School-based management committees (SBMCs) on school safety and security and strengthening community resilience”.

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said unsafe schools, occasioned by attacks on schools and abduction of students and the brutal violation of the rights of the victims to education, are totally unacceptable.

He stressed that attacks on learning institutions render the learning environment insecure and discourage parents and caregivers from sending their wards to schools, while the learners themselves become fearful of the legitimate pursuit of learning, adding that the invisible harm school attacks inflict on the victims’ mental health is incalculable and irredeemable.

“Girls have particularly been targeted, exacerbating the figures of out-of-school children in Nigeria, 60 percent of whom are girls. It is a trajectory which must be halted, and every hand in Nigeria must be on deck to ensure that learning in Nigeria is not a dangerous enterprise for any child, particularly for girls,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins disclosed that in Katsina State, government and communities have fenced some schools, and that has encouraged girls to attend school, underscoring the reality that collaboration is required in addressing insecurity in schools and making schools safe, especially for girls.

The statement further reads; “Today marks eight years since the first known attack on a learning institution in Nigeria on 14 April 2014, in which 276 students at Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in north-east Nigeria were abducted by a Non-State Armed Group. Since then, a spate of attacks on schools and abductions of students – sometimes resulting in their deaths – has become recurrent in the last two years, especially in the north-west and north-central regions of Nigeria. Since December 2020, 1,436 school children and 17 teachers have been abducted from schools, and 16 school children lost their lives”.

“In Katsina State, 300 SBMC members have been trained, and schools, supported through the Girls’ Education Project (GEP3) funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK, have developed Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans to mitigate the impact of potential and actual threats.

“Multi-sectoral task teams on school safety have also been established across all the 34 LGAs of Katsina state to provide timely and efficient networking among actors on school security, with particular focus on the safety of girls. Additionally, 60 Junior Secondary Schools have developed emergency plans and tested the plans in evacuation drills”, said UNICEF.

UNICEF reiterated that althoughh Nigeria has ratified the Safe Schools Declaration, schools and learners are not sufficiently protected, hence the need to pay greater attention in protecting children, teachers and schools, else they will continue to come under attack. Urgent, coordinated action is needed to safeguard the right to learn for every child in Nigeria.