Following protests by school children, Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC and Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT against the Kaduna State government over sacking of 21,000 alleged unqualified teachers, the state government said it will file complaints for criminal violations of several sections of the Penal Code.
“The Kaduna State Government is filing complaints for criminal violations of several sections of the Penal Code, including:• Section 59: Criminal Conspiracy• Section 73: Promoting Unlawful Assembly• Section 77: Disturbance of Public Peace• Section 78: Inciting Disturbance• Section 162: Obstruction on Public Way,” the state Permanent Secretary ministry of education, Adamu Mansur said while briefing newsmen in Kaduna.
“Charges may also be filed for violations of the Young Persons’ Law.“The Kaduna State Government is committed to doing the things that are necessary and consequential in the public interest.
“Security and law-enforcement agencies have the names of the individuals to be investigated for the organized actions that endangered school pupils, forcibly closed schools and attacked the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
“NUT officials were previously warned about the consequences of illegal activity, including the unlawful use of pupils for protests, forcible closure of schools and engaging in unauthorized demonstrations.
“The shameful events at the Kaduna State House of Assembly when union thugs destroyed public property and attacked honorable members is a visible and dangerous escalation,” he explained.
He emphasized that nothing would deter the government from recruiting qualified teachers, while giving disengaged teachers the entitlements specified in their terms of service.
Mansur explained that the Kaduna State government had resolved to upgrade the quality of education in the state, stressing that the state government stands firmly by the long-term interests of the two million pupils in public primary schools, and would not be derailed by the agitation of 21,000 unqualified teachers.
He said the process of recruiting 25,000 new teachers was going well, adding that reports of serial criminal actions that have taken place in the last three days, names of individuals putting pupils at risk, disrupting schools and vandalizing public property have been forwarded to the law-enforcement agencies.
The Permanent Secretary explained that the government would not allow anyone to get away with criminal activity under the cover of industrial relations.
“The Kaduna State government wishes to thank the public for supporting its quest to deliver quality education in public schools. This includes recruiting qualified teachers for the public primary schools. So far, more than 17,000 applications have been received by the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board and more are expected before the deadline of 19th November 2017.
“The government today reviewed the situation in primary schools across the state. This review included a meeting with the Executive Secretaries of all the 23 local government education authorities. Government is satisfied that a majority of the primary schools in the state are functioning as normal.
“However, government continues to receive disturbing reports of criminal activities being undertaken in the name of union activities. Some of these activities include the following: The NLC led thugs to vandalise the Lugard Hall premises of the Kaduna State House of Assembly. Officials of trade unions forcibly closing schools such as the Katsina Road LEA School and sending the pupils to the streets. Blockage of highways by pupils and secondary school students, at the behest of their teachers; Abdication of duty by some teachers who have left their pupils unattended.
”We have a responsibility to deliver quality education to the two million pupils in our public schools. The parents of these two million pupils have confidence in the reforms taking place in the Education sector.Therefore, retaining unqualified teachers on the pay roll is an abdication of duty. The responsible thing to do is to disengage them on terms in their conditions of service and replace them with qualified persons,” he observed.
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