The Kaduna State government has condemned the use of primary school pupils for protests by teachers who failed the competency test. It vowed not to tolerate the reckless endangerment of minors by adults.
A statement by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, lamented that the children, who are victims of bad teachers, are now being used as cannon-fodder by the same teachers. It vowed to take legal measures to punish the wrongdoers.
The statement described as callous and despicable, the act of involving children in illegal, politically-inspired demonstration.
The statement read: “The Kaduna State government has received reports of primary school pupils being pushed to the streets, by their unqualified teachers, for illegal protests.
“The government condemns this wanton disregard for the life and safety of pupils put in care of these unqualified teachers. It is grievous enough that bad teachers have been allowed to imperil the educational future of these children. But for these same teachers to endanger the children by using them to block and lie on highways, illustrates a high level of irresponsibility that no law-governed society can accept.
“These children are not union members; our pupils are the victims of bad teachers who evidently do not mind making these children cannon-fodder for their desperation. Exposing minors to hazards, and endangering their life and limbs shows that some teachers want to jeopardise the present and future of these children.
“These irresponsible actions, by these unqualified teachers, at the behest of their union, affront both morality and the law, including the Penal Code and the Young Persons’ Law. Those involved will bear the consequences.
“The government, hereby, warns everyone to desist from illegal and irresponsible acts. Sound education is not a matter of sentiment. Parents who send their children to public schools have a right to expect decent tuition for their wards. Being poor should not mean that the prospects of their children should be truncated.
“Nobody will be allowed to play politics with the future of our children, their education and their safety.
“Government urges parents to be vigilant, report to the relevant authorities any attempt to use their children to threaten law and order.”