Over 69,000 teachers sit for professional qualifying exams nationwide

• As FG suspends conduct of exams in Ibadan

Over 69,000 teachers on Saturday sat for the October 2019 diet of the Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) conducted by the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria.

The examination conducted across the 36 States of the federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) could not hold at the Ibadan Computer-Based Centre (CBT). The exercise was suspended by the Federal Government over alleged unruly behaviour of the candidates.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, who briefed newsmen after monitoring the exercise in Abuja said the examination was suspended at the PQE CBT centre at the University of Ibadan (UI) following “unruly behaviour of the candidates”.

The Federal Government through TRCN introduced the professional qualifying examination for teachers in 2017 as part of the initiative to ensure the professionalism of the teaching profession in Nigeria that had appeared to be all-comers-affair.

Echono lauded TRCN for orderly and transparent conduct of the examination which was held across 47 CBT centres across the country.

Oyo State has the highest number of candidates with 5,145, follow by Lagos State with 5,117, Kaduna 4,616 and 4,214 in the FCT.

While 3,709 candidates registered in Plateau State, Zamfara State has the lowest numbers of candidates with 397 candidates.

Echono said: “More than 69,000 candidates are writing the PQE across the 36 states including the FCT under the close supervision of TRCN.

“From the report from Ibadan, the system has some little lapses that is why the CBT was cancelled and we are working toward looking for another day for the exam to be fixed.

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“There is improvement in the logistics as observed. Candidates images appears on the computer screen which make it difficult for exam malpractice or cheating.

“It is easy for the exam monitoring officials to confirm that the candidate sitting for the exam is actually the person with the identity,” the Permanent Secretary said.

Echono, while fielding questions from newsmen insisted there was no going back on December 31 deadline to remove all unregistered teachers from the classrooms in Nigeria.

According to him, every teacher not registered and certified by TRCN is not qualified to teach in Nigerian schools, stressing the commitment of the Federal Government to end quackery in the teaching profession in Nigeria.

He noted that the government was working on creating a teachers database to collate the data of certified and qualified teachers.

“Anyone not certified or qualified to teach will not have any place in our classroom. We will begin the implementation in January 2020.

“We have also asked the TRCN to make contingency arrangements for additional diet to accommodate individuals who are just registering to write the PQE, ” he added.

He said that computer literacy was now compulsory for anyone aspiring to be a teacher.

Registrar of TRCN, Professor Josiah Ajiboye, disclosed that Africa alone has a deficit of 7 million teachers with Nigeria accounting for the largest number.

“We need a lot of teachers in our schools. Some states have not recruited teachers in the last 10 year; when you get to some schools you will find only four teachers in the entire school.”

On the suspension of the PQE process in Ibadan, the Registrar stated “the UI centre is the only Computer Based Test centre for the PQE that we got the unpleasant report.

“Teachers became unruly, a large number of them besieged the CBT hall and wanted to write their exams all at once. So we had to discontinue the exam until further notice,” he said.

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