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344 jostle for 110 unity schools principal seats

No fewer than 344 civil servants on directorate cadre are currently jostling to be appointed principals of the nation’s 110 unity schools across the country, The PUNCH reports.

The PUNCH reports that Nigeria’s 110 unity schools include the special schools for the gifted spread across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Federal Government had decided that from the 2022/2023 academic session, those to be appointed principals of the schools must have taken part in a competency-based test and emerged successful.

According to a circular obtained by our correspondent, the Federal Ministry of Education had already shortlisted 344 persons to take part in the test scheduled to hold in Abuja between August 16 and August 18, 2022.

The circular, with reference number FME/S/1317/C.25/ and dated August 2, 2022, was signed by the ministry’s Director, Human Resource Management, David Gende, on behalf of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

Among the 344 shortlisted persons for the test are 95, -42 current principals directors; 42 deputy directors; and 11 assistant directors.

The remaining 249 candidates include 48 directors and 201 deputy directors.

The circular read in part, “As part of the process of improving the standard of education in our federal unity colleges, especially as it concerns the administration of schools and placement of school leaders and principals on the appropriate career stage, in line with the policy on career path for the teaching profession, management has directed that the appointment of principals should henceforth be carried out by a competency-based test from the 2022/2023 academic session.

“The competency-based test is to be done in two stages. The first will be a computer-based test which will be followed by an oral interview.

“Only candidates with a minimum of 60 per cent score will qualify for the next stage.”

“Only candidates with a minimum of 60 per cent will be considered for appointment as principals.

“States unable to produce any candidate will have their slot allocated to another state within the same geo-political zone,” the circular added.

The Programme Director of Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, commended the Federal Ministry of Education on the development.

“That is a brilliant move by the ministry; this will also provide a level playing field for all competent and qualified candidates. There will be no room for nepotism. This is a welcome development and should also be replicated at all levels of governance in the country,” Oluwatoyin said.

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