Primary school pupils on Tuesday took to the streets of Kaduna protesting the move by the state government to sack their teachers who purportedly failed the competency test conducted for primary school teachers recently.
The children in their hundreds moved from street to street around Chikun local government area of the state holding placards and chanting, ‘we no go gree’, ‘don’t sack our teachers’.
Their counterpart at LEA Kawo had also embarked on same protest yesterday, urging the state governor, Malam Nasir El-Ŕufai to rescind his decision.
Parents in the state have however expressed worry over allowing little children to embark on a protest, saying it exposes them to hazards of the road and that they are quite too young to be used for such an exercise.
"If the teachers are aggrieved, they should use the right channel to tender their grievances to the appropriate quarters and not push out innocent children on the streets to embark on protest. It is too risky,"
"It is unfortunate that children who do not know what is happening in the system are the ones used to carry out protest," a parent, Mrs. Maryam Hassan said.
Similarly, Kaduna State Government has condemned the use of primary school pupils for protests by teachers who failed the competency test.
The state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who spoke through his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan said that government will not tolerate the reckless endangerment of minors by adults who are sending them to the streets.
According to him, the children who are victims of bad teachers are now being used as cannon-fodder by the same teachers. He said that government will take legal measures to punish the wrongdoers.
He said: "It is a callous and despicable act to involve young pupils in illegal, politically-inspired demonstration. The Kaduna State Government has received reports of primary school pupils being pushed to the streets by their unqualified teachers for illegal protests. These unlawful acts have included getting young children to block highways.
“Government condemns this wanton disregard for the lives and safety of primary school pupils placed in the care of these unqualified teachers. It is grievous enough that bad teachers have been allowed to imperil the educational future of these children. But for these same teachers to endanger the children by asking them to block and lie on highways illustrates a chilling level of irresponsibility that no law-governed society can accept.”