Teachers’ certification: No going back on December 31 deadline, FG insists

•CEO TRCN, Professor Josiah Ajiboye

The Federal Government has insisted that the December 31st, 2019 deadline remains sacrosanct for all teachers in the country to register and get certification from the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria or get booted out of the system.

Registrar and Chief Executive of Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Professor Josiah Ajiboye, spoke in Abuja during the weekend at an interactive session with members of the Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) on activities of the Council in the outgoing year.

He also revealed that the Council has successfully registered over 2 million teachers while about 1.8 of them are captured in a clean databank after the initial database of the Council crashed sometimes ago.

Ajiboye further disclosed that a Teacher’s Information System (TIS), has also been created containing the names and details of all the teachers so far registered by the Council.

He recalled that the National Council on Education (NCE) in 2016, set the December 31 deadline, saying that the decision was to the effect that the TRCN should be able to remove quackery from the teaching profession.

He said the era of using teaching jobs as political patronage was over, emphasizing that all those who are not qualified to teach in the nation’s schools would be weeded out.

He said: “Deadline was set at that time and certain things were put in place, especially for those who were not qualified; because the fear was about those who were not qualified, to be able to correct their deficiencies.

“You can do a postgraduate diploma in education. The NCE also approved for TRCN to run in institutions, what they called professional diploma in education, for those who were not qualified to enroll for either the PGDE or PDE to balance their degrees in cognate areas,” he said.

Ajiboye added that a long number of years have been given for the unqualified teachers to remedy their deficiencies, stressing that in 2017, the position of the government was reviewed at the NCE meeting in Kano, reiterating the position that December 31, 2019, would be the last day.

He disclosed that the same position was reiterated by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, at the National Council of Education meeting in Port Harcourt, challenging the TRCN to be prepared for the effective monitoring as from January 2020.

“I want to assure Nigerians that we are going to start our monitoring for compliance effective from January 2020.

“The aim as some people think is not to sack people. I have received messages from people that you want to sack but i said no. The aim is to sanitise our education system to make sure that quackery is removed from the system,” he said.

Ajiboye insisted that the teaching profession has ceased to be all-comers affairs, pointing out that in the time past when people have nothing else to do, they are compelled to manage to teach, a development he said would no longer continue.

He commended some State governments which have now made TRCN certification as the first requisite qualification for recruitment as teachers in their states.

He disclosed that the Council has been involved in providing digital literacy training for teachers as well as capacity building in the area of Mathematics and English Language teaching.

According to him, the Universal Education Commission (UBEC) has supported the Council on the review of the professional standard for teachers, which was first produced in 2010, to conform with the global standard and emerging issues.

He also disclosed that TRCN is leading efforts to remove Nigerian teachers from the normal scheme of service by developing a new career path policy that would guide their career progression and place them on the path of fulfillment.

He, however, disclosed that there was a surge in those who register and took the Council’s Teachers’ Professional Qualifying Examination (PGE) in 2019, because of the rush to meet up with the deadline.

He disclosed that over 50,000 sat for the examination during the May 2019 diet; in October, 69,132 candidates took the examination while over 77,000 sat for the examination in November.

He noted that apart from building a reliable databank of teachers in the country, the examination has helped to sieve those who are qualified to teach in Nigeria, adding that only those who passed the examination would get the certificate of TRC. (Sunday Tribune)

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