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Edo teachers challenge government in court

12 March 2014, 14:02

Abuja - Edo State government teachers have sued the National Industrial Court (NIC) over its plans to conduct competency tests on educators.

Other defendants in the suit are Edo State Ministry of Basic Education; Edo State Ministry of Secondary Technical and Tertiary Education and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board.

It also includes the State Post-Primary Education Board, Board for Vocational and Technical Education; Chairman of Edo State Teachers Assessment Test Committee and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state.

The teachers, in the suit filed under the aegis of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), are contending that they are statutory employees.
They said based on their status, their employment could not be determined by the state government on the basis of competency test without recourse to relevant Civil Service Rules governing their employment.

In the suit filed by their counsel, James Abah, the teachers are praying for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants or their agents from terminating their employments.

They said their employments could only be terminated in accordance with a procedure in compliance with the Edo State of Nigeria Civil Service Rule (revised to 1st of January, 2006) which governs their employment.

They also said that the regulation as to the competence and standards of knowledge attainable for teachers to practise as such and be employed as such was the exclusive function of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).

They also appealed to the court for an order restraining the defendants from taking any step or doing anything inconsistent with their employment by withholding their salaries and or any of their entitlements.

The state government has fixed for Saturday, March 22 for the planned assessment of teachers in public Primary and Secondary Schools in Edo State.

Chairman of the Assessment Committee, Professor Dennis Agbonlahor, in a statement said pursuant to the desire by the Government and people of the State to urgently halt the state of delay in its education sector, the seven men Committee has commenced its assignment by adopting a special approach that would be beneficial to all concerned.

According to him, “The Committee started by holding interactive sessions with all relevant Government Stakeholders, Chief Inspector of Education (CIE) Education Secretaries, Principals and Heads of randomly selected Secondary and Primary Schools and paying on the spot assessment visits to schools in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the education system. In line with International Best Practices which support the need for continuous professional development and continuous assessment for performance evaluation, the Committee will ensure a total systematic assessment by observing the teacher in their classrooms and interacting with the teachers on the subject they teach.”

- CAJ News

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