Professionalise and make teaching centre of educational reform in Nigeria —Ajiboye

FOR quality education to be achieved, there is the need to regulate the teaching profession with a view of ensuring the provision of quality teachers for quality teaching and learning.

This submission was made by the Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) and a lecturer in the Department of Arts and Social Sciences Education, Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, Professor Josiah Olusegun Adeboye.

He added that “it is no longer news that the teaching profession needs rediscovery and repositioning.”

Ajiboye said this while delivering the University of Ibadan’s 488th inaugural lecture on Thursday last week on the topic, ‘Teaching: In the Classroom as a Regulator,’ at the Trenchard  Hall of the institution.

Speaking further, he said it is incumbent upon governments through their respective ministries to ensure that quality education is provided for the youth. According to him, if that would be achieved; there must be adequate quality teachers who have gone through quality training,

The don said a situation where everyone is free to stand in front of the classroom to perform the job of a teacher is sheer anarchy, adding that the nation is already paying a great price for that neglect.

He maintained that “the image of the teacher is dependent on society’s image of teaching. The prevailing teacher profile is that of someone with a low level of education, low socio-economic background and who is unskilled. The era of “house for rent, not for teachers” should be a forgotten history in our country.”

He posited that the feasibility of re-profiling and rebranding the teacher is hinged on having political goodwill, establishment of the necessary legal framework and a commitment to its implementation so as to make the re-profiling and re-branding an integral part of all education development initiatives.

While calling for a stricter admission into colleges of education process and faculties of education in Nigeria, he observed that the current practice is dangerous for the future of the nation’s education.

His words: “Those who want to teach our children should be the best in our society and not the dregs. The UTME cut-off marks into colleges of education and faculties of education, if possible, should rank among the highest.”

“We must urgently do a review of our teacher education policy and programmnes to produce teachers for the 21st century classroom. The rest of the world is not waiting for Nigeria. Professional training is critical, just as mastery of subject matter, teachers’ welfare and an environment that promotes learning.

“The hydra-headed crisis of quality and quantity of teachers demands a strong policy response. Rebuilding the system should take into account how the once cherished vocation, the mother of all professions should attract the best brains and retain them,” Ajiboye said.

He recommended that professionalism of teaching and making the teacher the centre of educational reform in Nigeria, would enhance teachers’ productivity, reduce the systemic problems in the educational sector, ensure effective service delivery, engage other sectors of society as well as place education as instrument par excellence for national development.

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