Kwara and the Politics of Recruitments of Teachers
By Aliyu Shuaib Agaka
AREWA AGENDA- The announcement of the retrenchment of teachers by the Gov. Abdulrahman led Kwara State under the service of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has been greeted with mixed feelings from both supporters and opposition camps of the administration.
The disengaged teachers tagged ‘sunset workers’, who were employed by the immediate past administration were allegedly sacked for being unqualified.
A statement by the government noted that the teachers were employed by the past administration to teach English, Mathematics, and science subjects in junior secondary schools in the state adding that the present government had earlier screened the teachers and cleared 1,658.
However, the State government later discovered that majority of them were not qualified to teach.
The statement read, “It was discovered that some of the 1,658 [teachers] purportedly adjudged to be qualified did not, in fact they don’t have the required teaching certificates and it was also discovered that the teachers were engaged for subjects not covered in the executive approval, underscoring the unwholesome and impeachable nature of the entire process.”
The statement further explained that the decision to sack the teachers was inevitable to bring justice and fairness to everyone and that the government will kick start a fresh employment process all over again in the month of January 2021 for all the sacked 2,414 teachers and any other eligible persons.
The government decision was greeted with several complaints from both the Labour group led by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and other individual.
The union expressed its displeasure through an official statement by its chairman Mr. Issa Ore, to the effect that the decision by the government to re-engage new hands with shallow field experience may have a big setback on the students.
There were also protests by the disengaged workers in a move to appeal to the government to temper justice with mercy and not to politicize the teaching service commission in the state.
However, the motive of the governor as regards this development is still unclear, the governor should be transparent and non-partisan with the employment process for the sake of fairness and justice which is the mantra of his administration.
The governor might have good intentions for the decision like making sure that only the qualified and competent teachers are employed and sanitizing the civil service to ensure salaries are going to the rightful places.
The questions on the lips of many Kwarans is that, will the incoming employment process be neutral and not partisan? Will the tagged motive of the disengagement of those teachers be achieved through the incoming employment process? Is the sacking of the workers not a means of getting back to the loyalists of the past administration and giving back to his party faithful’s? Will the governor allow the continuity of the bad antecedents?
These and other similar questions are begging for answers through the incoming employment process, and more importantly if equity and justice are discarded, rancor and bitterness may likely spread.
Arewa Agenda is a publication of young writers and journalists from Northern Nigeria geared towards peaceful coexistence and national development through positive narratives.