From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Former Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo has said that he does not subscribe to Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s plan to disengage over 20, 000 public schools teachers in the state.
The affected teachers were those who failed primary four competency examinations which was conducted by the state government over a month ago.
He expressed apprehension as to where the state governor intends to get replacement for them when the state government has considered that closing public primary schools across the state was not an option.
Nebo, a former Vice-Chancellor of University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, comment followed a warning strike notice handed down by the national leadership of organized labor to shutdown the state if the fails to backpedal.
The former minister disclosed this yesterday while delivering the 43rd Convocation lecture of the University of Benin, Benin City whose theme was “Education at crossroads in Nigeria”.
He suggested massive retraining of programme side by side with massive recruitment of qualified teachers whom he recommended proficiency test for to discern and correct areas of deficiency of the teachers instead of sacking them.
According to him, “truly, apart from curricula, teachers at these levels will have to be really qualified and highly motivated. I may not subscribe to Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s approach of sacking over 20, 000 unqualified teachers who failed primary 4 Examinations in Kaduna state.
“Where will he find replacement? Or are you going to close down the schools until you produce the teachers? I think the way to go would have been massive retraining programmes side by side with massive recruitment of qualified teachers.
“A teacher is a compass that activates the minds of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in the pupils. So, he or she has to be qualified in order to be able to discharge the onerous responsibilities.
“Doctors bury their mistakes, but teachers multiply their mistakes”, he said.
He listed policy summersaults, instability in education system as the some of the hiccups against educational and technological advancement in the Country.
Earlier in a remark, the Pro-chancellor and the chairman Governing Council of the University of Benin, Hon. Isah Ashiru, described the guest lecturer as an all round scholar whose wealth of experience led to the unbundling of the power sector during the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration.