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Kaduna set to dismiss 233 teachers with fake certificates

*Schedules fresh competency test for 12,254 others

*NUT okays move to disengage teachers with “fake” certificates

The Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board is set to dismiss 233 teachers working with fake certificates.

Chairman of the board, Tijjani Abdullahi, announced this at a news conference in Kaduna on Thursday.

Abdullahi said the board embarked upon certificate verification in April as part of its responsibility to ensure that teachers actually had the qualifications they presented.

He said so far, the board had verified 451 certificates by contacting the institutions that awarded them.

“Nine of the 13 institutions contacted have responded.

“The responses show that 233 teachers presented fake certificates. This represents 51 per cent of the 451 certificates on which responses have been received from the awarding institutions.

“One institution disowned 212 of these 233 certificates.

“The board will dismiss the 233 teachers who presented the fake certificates and their files forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for forgery,’’ the chairman said.

According to him, the names of the 233 teachers found to have presented fake certificates will be uploaded on the website of the Kaduna State Government on Thursday, Dec. 2.

He said the board would continue to check the integrity of the certificates presented by teachers to ensure that “this critical profession is not devalued by impostors’’.

“When the Kaduna State government recruited 25,000 new teachers after the 2017 competency test, it made it clear that it would continue to assess its teachers both for their own improvement and for better delivery of learning outcomes for pupils,’’ he added.

Abdullahi said the state would soon conduct a competency test for its teachers, adding that the test would be followed up with series of trainings.

“This will begin in January 2022 for 12,254 teachers.

“The board has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the National Teachers Institute, the College of Education, Gidan Waya and the Federal College of Education, Zaria, on the training,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on Thursday backed the state government’s decision to sack 233 teachers alleged to have been working with fake certificates.

The Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Dalhatu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that the union would not defend any teacher with fake certificates.

“As far as NUT is concerned, we will not defend them if the allegation of tendering fake certificates is true.

“We have instructed the affected teachers that if any of them have a genuine certificate and his or her name is on the list, they should submit the certificate to us.

“We will follow up with Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to rectify the issue,’’ he said.

On the competency test for public primary school teachers, the NUT chairman said that the union’s decision not to participate in the test had not changed.

According to him, only the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria has the mandate to test and certify a professional teacher and not any state government agency.

“We will not go for any test. If the Kaduna SUBEB wants to assess the performance of our members, it should follow them to the class and assess them while they are teaching pupils,’’ he said.

The NUT National Executive Council had on Nov. 18 directed its members in Kaduna State not to participate in the competency test organised by the state government.

The Deputy National President of the union, Mr Kelvin Nwankwo, who gave the directive, insisted that teachers’ competence had been proved by various accredited universities and colleges of education.

He stressed that the teachers were also tested before they were hired.

According to him, the NUT affirms and relies on the provisions of Section 1(d) of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) Act 2004, which made provisions for the regulation and control of the teaching profession.

“As teachers who belong to a professional body, registered and licensed, we shall only subject ourselves to any professional recommendation issued by our Regulatory Council, and to no other body,’’ Nwankwo said.

NAN reports that the list of the affected teachers provided by the Kaduna SUBEB shows that 210 out of the 233 affected teachers claimed to have obtained their certificates at the National Teachers Institute, Kaduna.

Kaduna SUBEB’s Executive Chairman, Mr Tijjani Abdullahi, had announced earlier on Thursday that the board would sack 233 primary school teachers for allegedly presenting fake certificates.

Abdullahi said the board would forward the files of affected teachers to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution.

The SUBEB boss also disclosed that the board would conduct competency tests for primary school teachers as part of continued assessment of their capacity to ensure quality teaching.

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