The Nigerian president has given support to a plan to fire close to 22,000 teachers after they failed a competency test carried out by the Kaduna state government.
The state's governor Nasir El-Rufai tweeted images last week of some marked primary 4 competency test scripts. Class four is the class which teaches 10-year-olds, the BBC reports.
President Muhammadu Buhari said it is a "tragic situation" while speaking at special retreat of the Federal Executive Council.
"It is a very very serious situation when teachers cannot pass the exam they are supposed to teach the children to pass," Mr Buhari said.
Vanguard reports that there are plans by Nasir El-Rufai to dismiss 21,780 teachers.
Online reports claim those who scored below 75 per cent in the competency tests will be replaced.
I touched on the situation in Kaduna, where Gov @elrufai is trying to implement important reforms. It's a very serious situation when teachers cannot pass the exams they're supposed to administer to their students. It underscores the urgent need for comprehensive national reform.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) November 13, 2017
We are putting these out in the court of public opinion for Nigerians to make their verdict. Here are some of the primary 4 competency test scripts conducted for primary school teachers in Kaduna State. pic.twitter.com/aMwRWPlh6f— Governor Kaduna (@GovKaduna) November 9, 2017
A fresh recruitment exercise is expected to be completed by February next year, the governor's spokesman Samuel Aruwan told the BBC.
The teachers who failed the competency test would be allowed to re-apply if they are confident of their skills.
#UPDATE: As at close of work today, the State Universal Basic Education Board received in total, 21,650 applications from prospective teachers. Please apply if you’re qualified before the deadline. pic.twitter.com/X7N6Oceg2Q— Governor Kaduna (@GovKaduna) November 13, 2017
However, the proposed mass sacking has sparked controversy with the Nigeria Labour Congress warning there could be a "mother of all protests" over it, Vanguard reports.
Director-General of the APC Governors Forum, Salihu Mohammed Lukman said the issue should not be politicised.
“We can disagree with the approach of the state government, but the way to go is not to politicise this matter. We must do all we can to support the state government to get this reform right," Mr Lukman told Vanguard.