Mr Ikpe Obong, Secretary-General, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), said on Tuesday that encouraging teachers to obtain professional certificate would help to eliminate quackery from the nation’s educational system.
Obong in an interview with our reporter in Abuja said the union was collaborating with Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria to ensure that nobody below NCE is allowed to teach.
“Recently we held a joint meeting between the NUT and Teachers Registration Council to see how we can collaborate and ensure that teachers are duly registered.
“The meeting has been very useful because teachers’ response is ongoing and very positive.
“Again ever since the coming on board of the TRCN, we have been in the vanguard of ensuring that only those that are professionals should teach and nobody below NCE should teach.
“Those that pass through the due training are the ones that should be employed to teach and we will continue to maintain that stand,’’ he said.
Obong, however, observed that while the union continued to push for professionalism in teaching, the employers of teachers are not helping matters.
“While we continue to move forward we realise that some employers are not cooperating with us on that policy.
“For instance, at the federal level the ongoing exercise of the government; that is recruiting 500, 000, teachers, government did not consider professionalism.
“Government was interested in recruiting whoever that is available, be he or she a lawyer, an engineer, and so on to come into the system and teach.
“They will only be given six weeks’ training and then send them to school which is unprofessional,’’ he noted.
He said that if the government that made the law could flout it, “ one can imagine what will happen to the private proprietors of schools.
According to him, these proprietors established those schools purely for economic gains, therefore, if they are able to get a teacher that is ready to take low salary better for them.
He noted that employing teachers with low qualification in order to pay low salary might be beneficial to the proprietors but dangerous to the education system.
The secretary-general, nevertheless, advised that stakeholders in the education sector should always consider professional qualification before recruiting teachers so that teaching and learning can be mutually beneficial and effective.
Nigeria needed 1,320,135 teachers to meet the demands of the basic education in 2015 but currently the TRCN has registered 1.6 million as professional teachers.
The Federal Government is also contemplating the sack of unregistered and non-professional teachers from the classrooms by 2018.