The Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has said after two years deadline, more than 50 per cent of teachers currently in all private primary and secondary schools nationwide are still not qualified to be in the classroom teaching.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of TRCN, Prof Josiah Ajiboye, gave this hint in an interview with Tribune Online at the weekend, saying this scenario though cut across the six geopolitical zones of the country, is worse in the northern part and remote communities.
According to him, it is not only that these so-called teachers are not qualified but they are simply not registerable by the council.
He explained that this position meant that teachers in this category do not have basic teaching educational qualifications, which is the National Certificate in Education (NCE) as stipulated by the National Policy on Education.
He said whoever is to be engaged as a teacher in any school in the country either public or private according to the policy must have to possess a minimum of NCE plus the TRCN certificate.
Ajiboye said the two certificates are mandatory and none is optional for teachers’ recruitment in the country as evidence has shown that teachers who are professionals perform their duties passionately and more effectively.
“So, those without these two certificates are not supposed to be engaged as teachers much less be in front of students teaching in any government-approved school anywhere in the country,” he stressed.
He said school owners, public and private, are much aware of this federal government policy and that TRCN at a time set December 2019 as the deadline for all teachers in service nationwide who were without the TRCN certificate to get certified or quit the profession.
He said that is the standard practice in the developed countries and Nigeria cannot be exceptional.
He said the council had discovered that the majority of private school operators (unlike state governments) are not complying with the policy as they are still engaging even the secondary school leavers as teachers and pay them peanut as salaries.
Prof Ajiboye noted that the 2019 deadline was still on course and no fresh deadline would be given again to enforce compliance.
According to him, those who want to continue to be teachers or want to come in newly must be professionals and therefore must do the needful to be part of the system.
He explained that the council would soon resume the monitoring enforcement compliance of the policy which started in February 2020 and halted midway due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the general lockdown.
“So, we’re only waiting for more time for people to come out significantly from the adverse effect of COVID-19 crisis to continue the exercise and sanction schools and teachers that are not complying,” he said.
He, however, noted that it was not as if all teachers in the public schools are compliant but more than 85 per cent of them are professionals.