The union also accused Kaduna SUBEB of facilitating the arrest and detention of two teachers by the police.
The Kaduna State Wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has accused Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (Kaduna SUBEB) of coercing its members into writing the competency test it organised for public primary school teachers.
The State Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Dalhatu, made the allegation at a news conference in Kaduna on Saturday.
Dalhatu also accused Kaduna SUBEB of facilitating the arrest and detention of two of the union members by the police while “on duty to discourage their members from sitting for the examination”.
“Another threat by the same quarters is the removal of teachers’ names from payroll and nonpayment of salaries to those who refuse to write the test.
“The threats by SUBEB, Education Secretaries and other government officials using media to coerce and intimidate our members to sit for this competency test, will not change our stand.
“We will like to inform the general public that this singular act will not deter us from our position of ‘no to competency test’, but will rather spur us to continue in the struggle as victory is assured.
“This is because, whether we write the test or not, SUBEB is determined to disengage some of us by all means,” he said.
He also accused the board of hiring some people to pose as teachers and write the examination in some of the centres.
“Prior to the test which began on Dec. 7, we collected commitment forms, duly signed by teachers indicating their resolve not to write the test.
“But to our surprise, Kaduna SUBEB hired some persons to pose as teachers to write the examination which they use to intimidate some of our members to write the examination,” he said.
He said that the NUT had secured an interlocutory injunction stopping SUBEB from conducting the competency test, adding, however, that the board still went ahead with the test showing no regard for the rule of law.
He warned that any teacher who participates in what he described as “an illegal examination” would not be protected by the union if victimised.
According to him, the union’s resolve not to write the test remains the efficient tool for victory in this struggle, adding that only Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria has the mandate to test the competence of teachers.
When contacted, the Director, Human Resource, Kaduna SUBEB, Mr Ahmed Sani, described the allegations as “baseless”.
Sani said that the NUT did not employ any teacher and therefore, cannot decide for the government how to test the teachers to ensure quality teaching and learning in public schools.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited one of the test centres, located at Kaduna State University, reports massive turnout of teachers to sit for the examination.
Some of the teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity said they decided to write the examination against the NUT directive out of fear of being sacked.
“We were advised to write the examination or risk dismissal on ground that it is not NUT that employed us but the state government,” some of them told NAN.