Competency Test: Bayelsa State to test teachers’ quality like Kaduna

Seriake Dickson

The test will be compulsory for all the primary and secondary school teachers in the state.

The Bayelsa State government has announced its plan to conduct a competency test for school teachers in the state.

State governor, Seriake Dickson, made the disclosure at a two-day meeting of the Joint National Public Service Negotiation Council in Yenagoa, the state capital.

According to a press statement signed by his media aide, Francis Agbo, on Wednesday, November 22, 2017, the test will be compulsory for all the primary and secondary school teachers in the state.

His statement read, "A bill will be forwarded to the State House of Assembly to make it compulsory for teachers at the primary and secondary school levels to undergo some forms of assessment as part of their qualifications to teach in the state."

Kaduna's controversial competency test

The issue of competency tests for teachers has divided opinions for the past few weeks after 21,780 primary school teachers in Kaduna State who failed a competency test organised by the state government were sacked by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

Of the 33,000 primary school teachers who sat for the examination conducted by the state's Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), only 11,220 passed the exercise.

After issuing a one-month notice to the failed teachers to prepare for disengagement from service, the Kaduna State Executive Council approved the immediate commencement of the process of recruiting 25,000 new primary school teachers.

In reaction to the dismissal, several protests sprung up across the state resulting in a violent attack on lawmakers and vandalisation of properties worth millions at the state's House of Assembly complex.

ALSO READ: Teachers' union dares El-Rufai to sack members

Copycat approach

Despite the controversy generated by the tests in Kaduna, other states have shown the willingness to follow in the same footsteps, especially since President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed Governor El-Rufai's approach.

A team from Kogi State, led by the Commissioner, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Jacob Tolorunleke traveled to Kaduna last week to understudy the competency test with the aim of improving the standard of education in Kogi.

Tolorunleke said they travelled to the state to get all the necessary information needed, and to be guided appropriately on how to conduct a successful and credible competency test for teachers in Kogi State.