The Kaduna State Government on Monday commended teachers who shunned the strike called by their union and reported for duty in their schools. The government vowed that the strike will not affect its education reform.

The Nigerian Union of Teachers had called on teachers to stay away from schools, which resumed on Monday across the state, over job security and welfare issues.

The strike was provoked by the planned sack of about 21,000 teachers last year for failing a competency test.

Teachers in public secondary and primary schools across the state on Monday began the indefinite strike action.

But the government said in a statement by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesperson said although NUT officials tried to prevent teachers from working, many defied intimidation and reported for duty.

Samuel Aruwan said the strike action will not force the government to restore bad teachers.

The government had on Sunday threatened to sack any teacher that joined the strike.

Monday’s statement said the government was collating reports over the strike from its education administrators.

It reiterated that all teachers that absented themselves from work would face the severest penalties applicable in the public service rules.

A reminder of the potency of these rules had been issued in previous government statements.

“Across the state, the illegality of the NUT’s strike action is being compounded by physical attempts to frustrate those teachers who wish to work. No law permits any worker to tamper with another’s right to work. The attention of the security agencies has been drawn to this dangerous pattern of conduct.

“The Kaduna State Government is resolute in its determination to protect the future of the children of the poor. Ordinary citizens are entitled to expect public primary schools to deliver a decent standard of education. At least two million pupils are enrolled in public primary schools and their interests come first.

“Government is delighted to inform the public that marking of scripts of the 43,000 applicants for teaching positions is now concluded. The recruitment process to inject 25,000 qualified teachers into our public schools will now move to the next phase.

“Kaduna state will not allow the selfishness of a tiny minority to ruin the future of two million children,” Mr. Aruwan said in the statement.

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