The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria says it has registered, certified and licenced 295,000 teachers in the last one year.
The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, disclosed this at a Media Round table on: “Restoration of Teachers Dignity,” in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ajiboye said the aim of the meeting was to review activities of the council, its achievements as well as challenges in the last 12 months.
He said: “Today makes it one year I assumed duty as the Registrar/Chief Executive of this great agency of government.
“The council under my leadership and the support from the management team and members of staff has made frantic efforts toward restoring the dignity of Nigerian teachers vis-a-vis enhancing teacher quality and professionalism.
“Before I came on board, the council had registered about 1.5 million teachers but in the last one year, we have registered two hundred and ninety five thousand teachers.
“So presently, we are closer to 1.8 million teachers registered with the council.”
The Registrar said the council had held consultations with relevant agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education to come up with measures to ensure dignity of teachers and by extension qualitative importation of knowledge by Nigerian teachers.
He added that the council with the help of the Nigerian Union of Teachers had set up a joint committee as well as a bio data to get the number of qualified and unqualified teachers.
Ajiboye said: “With their support, we have collected the data and very soon we will know the number of qualified and unqualified teachers and those who are registered with the council.
“It will also help us know the number of teachers teaching a particular subject across the federation, so we can use that to address shortage of teachers, especially in the rural areas.”
Ajiboye added that with the help of the NUT, teachers had become more alive to their responsibility.
The Registrar said the major achievements of the council were the reintroduction of the Professional Qualifying Examination, with the first exam scheduled to hold in October 14 across the federation and the FCT.
He said the test would be Computer Based because teachers needed to be updated technologically.
Ajiboye, however, said the PQE would not stop the induction programme of students at the point of graduation.
He said in response to the outcry on the quality of teachers, a training of the trainer capacity building workshop was organised for teachers in June.
The Registrar said the workshop was focused on the implementation of professional standards for teachers and teachers’ code of conduct.
He, however, said the major challenge facing the Council was funding but stressed that for the country to move forward the teaching profession must be at the forefront.
The professor appealed to government at all levels to support the council in terms of funding, saying: “We would not let them down.
“The council intends to go all out toward ensuring the restoration of the dignity of the Nigerian teacher.
“To achieve this, we obviously rely on the cooperation of the media and relevant stakeholders; we believe our partnership would bring about positive change in the system.”
The Registrar gave assurances that the Council was doing everything possible to ensure that quacks were flushed out of the teaching profession in both public and private schools across the country.