Nigeria short of 277,537 teachers in basic education sector, says UBEC

NIGERIA has a shortage of 277,537 teachers at the basic level, according to a National Personnel Audit (NPA) conducted on public and private basic education schools in the country.

This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Hamid Bobboyi, in a statement issued by the commission’s Head of Public Relations and Protocol, Mr David Apeh, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, in Abuja, on Sunday.

Bobboyi said the NPA indicated that while 73 per cent of those teaching in public schools were qualified teachers, only 53 per cent of teachers in private schools were qualified to teach.

“Our hope is that with the current reforms being put in place where you attract the best candidates into the teaching profession and compensate them adequately, the narrative will change,” he said.

He noted that it was essential for teachers to be trained professionally, hence the need to prioritise quality of teaching. According to him, one of the major challenges is getting qualified teachers to teach the children in the country, though the Federal Ministry of Education has been trying to address this.

In realisation of the importance of teachers in the provision of quality education, he said, the commission had designated 10 per cent of the entire amount it received from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to Teacher Professional Development, through the States’ Universal Basic Education boards.

On instructional materials, the executive secretary said because achieving quality education was dependent on the quality of resources, UBEC voted 15 per cent of the entire amount received from the Consolidated Revenue Fund annually for the purchase of instructional materials for distribution to schools.

He said the expectation was that state governments would complement the effort by acquiring textbooks for their schools, especially textbooks in key subjects.

The UBEC boss said the commission had been working on a plan that would ensure that children left on their own or whose parents were unable to fund their education, in addition to those with special needs, are accommodated in the public school system.

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