OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR EL-RUFAI

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Nasir El-Rufai

It is with utmost sincerity that I pen these words to laud your recent stride in the recruitment exercise conducted by Kaduna State government. It goes without saying that this exercise is one of the transparent and credible recruitment exercises ever organised by government institutions at all levels. Posterity will live to be in your awe as someone that has always led by example.

The almost concluded exercise has the thumbnails of excellence all over it. Never had Nigerians been treated with such parity when it comes to recruitment. I wish to appreciate the triumvirate of state government, human resource department and the IT veterans for the conduct of this near perfect exercise. We hope this will be the norm going forward as Nigerians have long lost hope in public institutions whose recruitment is a model for corruption. Having said that, I shall proceed to unearth the obvious flaws that threatened and, still threaten the exercise.

Sir, the beauty about criticism is that it is not entirely a fault finding mission. That’s one of the strongest misconceptions of “criticism”.

First, the CBT test that ended on 13th October, 2019 featured 30 questions to be attempted in no more than 20 minutes. That’s less than a minute for each question. Out of the 30 questions 19 were Mathematics, three English Language, and the rest (eight) were verbal “reasoning”. This means mathematics alone accounted for 63.3% of the test! The mathematics weren’t basic ones, they were the types like; K²-2kp+p²…,if the minimum value of y= 1+hx-3x² is 13, find h…bla bla bla. The verbal reasoning questions have about three line passages with a minimum of four long sentences as options! All these to be “calculated” and “reasoned” within 20 minutes of “programmed” time! My holiness!

Now, the problem is, it is either our educational system is a total mess, or the employer lacks basic knowledge of who to employ, or the human resource department is ridiculously incompetent, or all of the above. Is it not insane that a highly competent human resource will administer this kind of questions to all applicants? While submitting our applications, we indicated clearly our respective disciplines. How can you test someone’s competency with something outside his or her field and deem that appropriate? How can you have for instance people that studied Arabic, Medicine, Counselling Psychology, Mass Communication (mine), History, English, Agricultural Science, etc., being tested in mathematics and calling that “competency” test? Not basic maths that’s applicable to all fields, technical ones! Imagine people that studied Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, or Chemistry being administered questions about Mass communication, or Arabic, or Sport Science? That has obviously established some level of “discrimination”, which threatens the entire genuine drive for a transparent recruitment.

Ibrahim Yahaya,

Abuja