The Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has explained the motive behind the recently dismissal of 2,414 teachers in the state.
In a self-written article, titled: Building A New Future for Kwara, the governor asserted that the application for new crop of teachers which opens today begins a new process to fill schools with qualified and competent tutors who will teach children in basic classes and senior secondary schools across the state.
He noted that a huge number of the dismissed teachers got the jobs because they knew somebody who knew somebody that knew somebody on the ‘Ahmadu Bello Way’.
Governor Abdulrazaq said, “Today, January 3, 2021, the portals for taking applications for a new crop of teachers have been programmed to go live. That begins a new process to fill our schools with qualified and competent tutors who will teach our children in basic classes and senior secondary schools across the length and breadth of Kwara State.
“It is an enormous task that we do not take for granted. It a task for which our administration will be judged — coming after we painfully nullified a process that had thrown up some 2,414 teachers.”
He explained further that cronyism has marred the educational system, which should not be dictated by political interest; rather should be base on merit. He said “Without mincing words, no patriotic person should defend the nullified process. It was egregiously faulty. Political interests had a field day dictating which individual got a place in our classrooms with scanty regard for merit.
“So bad was it that they overshot the legal approvals to engage just 1,100. I do not dispute that a few great hands survived the process. My heart bleeds that those ones were caught in our decision to start the process anew. However, such great hands were exceptions.
“A vast majority got the jobs because they knew somebody who knew somebody that knew somebody on the Ahmadu Bello Way. Those affected knew this to be true. We could not in good conscience allow that to stand, particularly after we initially gave everyone a chance to prove their worth. Those who messed up our efforts to reform the nullified process have been served their sanctions, mild or grave.”
The Kwara State governor emphasized that the process is to complement the infrastructural renewal that his administration had embarked on and promised to eschew cronyism in the process.
“As the new process begins, I see it as a bold attempt to reposition teaching in Kwara. It is a necessary complement to our ongoing infrastructural renewals (which will gulp over N14bn over the next two years) and the upcoming digital reforms of the education sector primed for the new year.
“We need everyone to support the effort. We are trying our best within the circumstances to create an enabling environment for businesses to grow and create jobs. However, I appeal to our people not to see the 4,701 teaching vacancies as an opportunity to just fix people up for jobs. It is not designed for such.
“Yes, 4,701 persons will get these jobs. But our sincere intention is that anyone who gets a slot does so because they merit it. This is why the process is clearly designed to be rigorous. The first phase, like our bursary and scholarship schemes, will be entirely tech-driven.
“Nearly 60 percent of the eligibility process will be determined online where applicants will fill in their details. Examinations and oral interviews, both physical, will be judged by competent hands who have clear instructions not to listen even to me. This is because we plan to throw up candidates that are the best that ever applied for the jobs,” he said.174