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Stats: 17,470 members, 69,365 Topics, 15,456 Comments. Date: Jun 19 2019, 7:41 am

Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
200Level, Nigeria.

Trade tension is said to be simmering in Katsina State following the termination of employments of 217 contract teachers by the state government.

The teachers affected have said the action was in breach of contractual procedures since notice was not given to them. The government however said the fixed contracts ended long ago and there was no reason whatsoever to renew them, adding that, the teachers received their monthly payments even after the expiration of the contracts. Three teacher sourcing strategies were adopted in hiring the affected teachers – while most of them were employed after completing their National Youth Service, a few were obtained from other states including Edo, Kogi and Benue while the rest were said to have applied for teaching appointments with the state.

Many of the contract teachers were hired to teach major science subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry and Biology as well as English language and literature.

According to a source, a state working committee was raised which looked into the issue of the contract teachers before the termination of the contracts and that government implemented some of the recommendations in the committee’s report.

“It was found that these teachers have overstayed their contract time but government kept paying them; it is high time we replaced them with more competent ones,” he said.

“The whole rationale was abused, we found out that the teachers were getting paid and teaching subjects like history, Igbo language and geography,” the source said.

Recently at a press conference, the teachers 217 in number, raised concerns over the termination of their contracts by the state government, insisting that due process must be followed as stipulated in their contract agreements.

The state coordinator of the Contract Workers Forum, Ogalah Ibrahim, told newsmen that government should have given a three-month notice or paid one month salary and all allowances and benefits in lieu.

He said government had denied the teachers 15 per cent monthly contract pay since January 2012, adding that “for several years we have immensely contributed in educating unquantifiable number of Katsina students.”

Ogalah said the teachers were aggrieved because government, instead of first, settling their monthly pay arrears and correcting its mistakes, went ahead to terminate their appointments.

“For decades we have worked to develop the state, but the recent government action is making it practically difficult to train our own children,” he said.

However, when contacted, the state government said there was no going back on the decision as a state working committee had verified and found that the contract teachers were deficient, especially in the basic qualifications for teaching and had also exceeded their contract periods.

Reacting to the issues raised, the chairman of the Katsina State Teachers’ Service Board, Umaru Audi, said sometime last year “we found that there were over 300 teachers working without valid papers and we wrote to the ministry intimating them of such and the letter went up to the State Executive Council where it was approved that the matter be looked into.”

According to him, a committee uncovered that most of the teachers were NCE and ND holders whose contracts had expired but were still receiving salaries, adding that “some have stayed for over 15 years without even furthering their qualifications.

“I challenge them to take a relook in their contract terms. We have enough and qualified candidates from our universities with basic teaching requirements that we are presently replacing them with.

“Not all will get the sack, as those with basic teaching requirements in priority subjects of physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology will stay. Most of those leaving are those taking Hausa, Igbo and history courses,” he added.

Source: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/tension-simmers-between-katsina-govt-contract-teachers.html

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