More than 20,000 teachers in Nigeria are facing the sack after failing competency tests designed for children aged ten. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has backed the plan in the northern Kaduna state and branded the situation ‘tragic’.
He said: ‘It is a very very serious situation when teachers cannot pass the exam they are supposed to teach the children to pass. Is a very tragic situation we are in.’ Kaduna Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai tweeted the test results of the primary teachers last week. He asked the public: ‘Would you allow someone like this to each your child.’
The Governor said teachers who were marked below 75% will be sacked but they can re-apply if they can improve their grades. The BBC reported least 19,000 applications had already been received to replace the teachers who will be sacked. Labour unions opposed the plans to sack the teachers and branded the move ‘propaganda’.
UN children’s agency Unicef found Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. Around ten million children have no access to basic education in Nigeria and Unicef described the education system as beset by poor teachers with a lack of proper facilities.