The Nigerian government says it will upgrade the status of teachers and end the era of using teaching profession as political largesse.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said this in Abuja while supervising the October diet of Teachers Professional Qualifying Examination.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono said there will be no extension of deadline beyond December 2019, for individuals who were yet to be certified as professional teachers to sit for the exams.
“We want to focus more on human capital more than Agriculture and Infrastructure. Essentially, we will focus on health and education, the believe is that once you address this foundation of our society everything else depend on it.
“After the 2019 December deadline, anybody who is not a certified teacher by the TRCN will not be allowed in the classrooms, the meaning is that all those who are teaching now with one qualification or the other, in fact, whatever degree you have you must take this professional exam by teachers Registration Council for the appropriate level that you operate,” he stated.
He also disclosed that the Nigerian government is planning to upgrade the status of teachers in Nigeria and at the same time bring the era of using teaching profession as a political largesse to an end largesse.
“We want to eliminate at the state level where teaching profession is been used as a political largesse, they bring all manner of people that help them campaign and win an election and they just recruit them into the classrooms. We will not allow that to continue to happen even within our government. We are carrying out reforms within ourselves, you are aware we have a programme of the N-POWER where non-teachers are recruited for 2-3years to teach in schools. We are looking at the possibility of abrogating this,” he added.
He also mentioned that the government is considering the introduction of the third diet in 2019 to give the opportunity to more people to write the teachers professional qualifying exams.
Mr Echono added that the government is presently compiling the database of qualified teachers who are not yet employed across the country.
The Registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Professor Josiah Ajiboye said that over seventeen thousand candidates across Nigeria sat for the Batch B, October diet Teachers Professional Qualifying Examination on Saturday 20th of October.
Professor Ajiboye hinted that about one thousand and ten candidates wrote the qualifying exams in the Federal Capital Territory, while eight hundred applicants sat for the same exam in Azare, Bauchi State.
He attributed the drop in the number of applicants for the 2018 exams to the reduction in numbers of unqualified and certified teachers in Nigeria.
“We expect the drop in the numbers of applicants because as people are writing the exams it means we have been able to drain the number of people unqualified and uncertified practising the profession.”
A candidate from Ondo state, Olanike Adeniyi confirmed to reporters that the exam was professional.
According to her: “I didn’t encounter any technical challenge apart from the fact that we were further tutored on the use of the computer in the exam hall. Everything about the exam was okay, we had sixty questions and they were not too difficult.”