by Aljazirah news | October 18, 2021 5:13 am
World Teachers’ Day, WTD, celebrated October 5 as an annual event may have gone down in history as remarkable in Nigeria, especially that the nation appears to be taking some strides to give some recognition to this group of invaluable segment of the society.
It may also go well if it is stressed that this same priceless labour group is the most mis-judged, vilified, and grossly consistently unrewarded.
In a recent position, the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, averred that about 52% of Nigerian teachers are not qualified, hence they are ill-equipped to fit into the onerous task of moulding intellect and character. This position of the TCRN may not have been obvious to the average Nigerian who may not be armed with the statistics on the matter in reference but it is relevant to state that the quality of teachers would of necessity determine the quality of their products. Yes! Of course.
In stating what is apparent, there are numerous challenges impeding the operational capacity of teachers besides the low qualifications being cited by the TRCN. It would be recalled that some state governments took the gauntlet by weeding out those they considered unqualified to impart knowledge in their various states. As commendable as that is, it just may not be the only veritable tool at achieving sanity in the teaching profession. A lot more need to be scrutinized.
However, the challenges in the teaching profession across the country are beyond the mere critical deficiency of some of the practitioners as it indeed touches on other gamut of defects. These include but not limited to poor capacity building, inadequate facilities and the inability to adapt teaching to meet the psycho-social needs of children.
It must be stressed that in spite of all the structural challenges, teachers have played the enviable role of moulding the nation’s fortunes in various ramifications. For if they had not played the pivotal role of instilling character and learning, most professionals who parade the nation’s towering world of entreprise, academia, aviation and the likes would not have been there. On that note we give kudos to this great clan within the labour circle.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation ,UNESCO, presented the theme; ‘Teachers at the heart of education recovery’ for this year to recognise the teachers unrelenting and diligent efforts in the crucial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Generally, the day offers an opportunity to appreciate the eminent role played by the teacher in grooming the child towards a fulfilled future.
“Teachers’ Day is an occasion that pays tribute to teachers and tends to resolve some of the issues regarding their profession and hence tries to attract the brightest young minds towards this all-important profession. Various organisations like UNESCO, Education International ,EI, UNICEF, UNDP, the International Labor Organisation ,ILO, etc. organise campaigns and conferences to achieve this goal”, according to a report.
It is not enough for the TRCN to merely drop alarming figures on the infiltration by quacks into the teaching vocation. Certain factors may have buoyed the situation; including lack of adequate trained personnel, poor remuneration which can hardly attract the best of hands and failure to implement stringently the policy which stipulates the National Certificate of Education, NCE, as the minimum standard for teachers.
AljazirahNigeria urges the TRCN to take the bull by the horns to check quacks in the teaching profession. It should ensure that only qualified persons with the requisite training and qualifications are allowed into the teaching profession. It is antithetical to allow poorly trained teachers to remain in the system.
We call on the council to beam its searchlight on private schools that in cutting corners go all out to recruit lowly-rated individuals as teachers. There should be periodic review of teachers’ capacity by the relevant authorities to keep quacks in check.
On a cheery note, we commend President Muhammadu Buhari who has promised a new salary scale for teachers in the country. Also, as incentive, the service years for teachers has moved from 35 to 40 years, while the retirement age is now 65 years against 60.
Other persona in the chain like state governors, the National Assembly and others should ensure that these policies trickle down beyond the federal level. We call for a concerted effort by all stakeholders to ensure that teachers get their pride of place as builders of the nation’s cradle. There must a tangible reward system which would seamlessly attract the best hands at all times.
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