Some Nigerians have urged the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN’s) to tread softly in its move to stop unregistered teachers in public schools as from 2018.
They made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, while reacting to the announcement that the Federal Government will sack unprofessional teachers by 2018.
According to them, stopping unregistered teachers in public schools as from 2018 should be done carefully to avert creating a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill
The TRCN had on Tuesday said that any teacher without Professional Certificate of the Teachers’ Registration Council (TRCN) would not teach beyond 2017.
The Registrar/Chief Executive, TRCN, Prof. Olusegun Ajiboye explained that the policy is part of the 3-year Ministerial Strategic Plan by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, designed to phase out unqualified teachers in Nigerian classrooms.
According to him, the council had stopped normal registration at the end of May 2017.
“The first professional qualifying Examination of TRCN will take place at the end of September, 2017 to fully professionalise teaching in Nigeria.”
The registrar emphasised that the Buhari’s administration does not joke with teacher-professionalism.
Ajiboye further said that the council had registered about 1.6million teachers since he assumed office.
Mrs Pauline Ibikunle, a teacher with a private school in the FCT, said that teachers who do not have any training in Education should be encouraged to pursue a Diploma course in Education to enable them qualify.
“The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has been there from the onset and qualified teachers are being registered from time to time.
“The only issue now is that it has been made mandatory for all qualified teachers to register.
“As for those who are teaching with either B.Sc. or B.A and the like can be encouraged to take diploma course in education after which they can qualify to register.
“ So, I do not think there will be need to sack these unregistered teachers,” she said.
Mr Haruna Idachaba, a civil servant, said that the time frame for the phasing out unregistered teachers was very short as many teachers were yet to register with the TRCN.
Idachaba said that government should not be quick in phasing out unprofessional teachers in the country, considering the fact that it’s still fighting against unemployment, hence its plan to engage 500,000 graduate teachers on contract.
According to him, professionalism should be based on teachers’ duration of training and not merely obtaining the professional certificate after taking professional examination set by the council.
“ If the government should implement this policy, many will be victims.
“Although I’m not against professionalism, but more emphasis should be placed on regular training of teachers.
“ We have teachers who have not gone for training for many years now, yet government is more concerned with obtaining professional certificate.
“ Professionalism should be based on how often teachers are trained rather than sitting for qualifying professional examinations,’’ he said.
Idachaba, however, called on the government to rescind the decision so as not to add to suffering of the people by retrenching existing teachers.
A parent, Mr Ifeanyi Nnamani, emphasised the need to equip the regular teachers by way of training and retraining for the purpose of promoting professionalism in teaching.
Nnamani said the government should also weigh the option of scrapping the unregistered teachers as it was likely to create more unemployment.
“You don’t throw away the baby with the bath water. While trying to promote professionalism, the government should also consider the negative impact it will have on the populace.
“The government officials should ensure that there is enough manpower to fill the vacancies that will arise as a result of their action,” he said.
Another teacher with a public school, Mrs Helen Jonas, said phasing out uncertified teachers was not a good option but training the teachers on the right methodology and techniques of teaching would be relevant and better.
He said that government should create a kind of summit where the uncertified teachers will be trained,
He urged the government to focus more on funding of the tertiary institutions to produce good teachers,” she said.