Nigeria must be rid of quack teachers, TRCN boss insists as COVID-19 slows down deadline enforcement

THE Registrar of Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria, Professor Josiah Ajiboye, has insisted that unqualified teachers will have no place in the classroom in Nigeria, explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic only slowed down the enforcement of earlier deadline for teachers to register with the Council.

He spoke at a one-day workshop organised by the Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) in collaboration with TRCN held during the weekend in Karu, Nasarawa State.

Ajiboye lamented that the teachers’ professional qualification examination and the mandatory licencing of teachers before they could practice has exposed the quacks in the sector.

He stressed that Nigeria needs to get it right in terms of quality of education by strengthening the quality of teachers in the country in order to enhance national development.

He said: “A situation where anyone whether qualified and unqualified is free to stand in front of a classroom to teach is sheer anarchy and Nigeria is already paying a big price for that neglect of the sector.”

He explained that the December 2019 deadline for all teachers in Nigeria to register and be certified by the council in order to practice as approved by the National Council on Education (NCE) could not be enforced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “If we need to get it right as a country, issues of teachers should be given priority and taken seriously. The issue of teachers has been pigeon hole over the years in Nigeria, but thanks to President Muhammed Buhari for changing the narrative.”

He said the good thing was that Nigerian teachers are gradually becoming sought after with many of them going to Canada and many other countries to practice with dignity after receiving letters of professional standing from TRCN.

He said: “It’s a joy to us but we are not saying that they should all leave because we need them here. What we need to do is to be able to attract and retain them here and Mr President has started something last year.

“If we are able to follow through with the approvals given by Mr President, I believe very strongly that no one will want to leave. At the Federal Ministry of Education level, the circular has gone out on the 65 years retirement age. All Federal teachers are now going to enjoy the 65 years starting from January 1, 2021.”

The registrar, however, disclosed that there were some of the approvals that would wait till 2022 for implementation while a number of others have actually commenced.

He appealed to the state government who are the largest employers of teachers in Nigeria to domesticate the approvals by the president, including the allowances, 65 years retirement age and other incentives.

Speaking at the workshop, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abuja Chapter, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche, said education in Nigeria is in crisis and must be fixed for the unfettered development of the country.

Earlier, the Chairman of ECAN, Mr Chuks Ukwuatu in his opening remark thanked TRCN management under the leadership of Prof. Ajiboye for the support, and ongoing efforts to reposition the teaching profession in the country.

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