The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if the Kaduna State Government fails to reverse the decision to sack 2,357 teachers, including its National President, Audu Amba.
The union made its position known on Wednesday during its National Executive Council meeting at the Teachers House, Lugbe, Abuja.
The NUT Deputy National President Kelvin Okonkwo, said the sack followed refusal by the president and some teachers to write a competency test organised by the Kaduna State Government among other reasons.
“It is very sad and curious that the dismissal letter relative to the NUT President was in the public domain via the social media even when it has not been served on him.
“The intention clearly is to intimidate the NUT President and embarrass the teachers in Nigeria,” he noted.
The union reinstated its commitment to stand by the president and other sacked teachers in the state.
“The NUT family reaffirms its commitment to stand with its revered President Comrade Audu Titus Amba and all the teachers in Kaduna State.
“The union will continue to perform its historical role of defending the rights of teachers in Nigeria and no amount of anti labour policies of the Kaduna State Government and elsewhere can diminish this resolve,” it stated.
The union stated that rather than issue dismissal letters, the government ought to have explored the option of training and retraining to improve the competency of teachers.
“We are teachers and best suited to know the concept of test administration which is a settled and accepted tool for the assessment of the performance of a learner in his or her educational career.
“However, this lofty tool has been maliciously bastardised and abused in Kaduna State.
“It has been deployed as an instrument of vendetta targeted at labour leaders, who dared to perform their statutory and historical role of advocating the advancement of the welfare of teachers.
“The National Executive Council (NEC) of our great Union in good faith had in accordance with international best practices in the teaching profession advocated that the Kaduna State Government should rather embark on a continuous teacher training programme.
“This is what obtains in other professions such as Nursing, Medicine and Law,” it stated.
NUT, which noted that about 21,780 teachers were dismissed or retired in 2018, said the recent sack was one too many.
“It is pertinent to state that the Kaduna State Government’s purported Competency Test was held during the pendency of Suit No NICN/54/2021 before the National Industrial Court, Kaduna Division.
“Furthermore, the purported dismissal of 2,357 Teachers was done during the pendency of another Motion on Notice.”
The motion sought for an order restraining the Kaduna State Government from dismissing any teacher in the public schools in Kaduna State for not writing and or passing its competency test.