By LAIDE AKINBOADE-ORIERE
Abuja – For Nigeria to address the challenge of shortage of teachers in its Basic Education sector, it would need over 1.3 million teachers in 6 years.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, stated this on Tuesday, at the flag-off ceremony of the 2015 Teacher Professional Development, TPD, programme, in Abuja, organised by Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC.
He said it is a full knowledge that no nation can develop without capacity building of its teachers.
According to the Minister, “And, in addition to government’s concern for quality teachers, quantity is also of the essence. There is a wide gap between the number of teachers required and the current number of available in the basic education sector.
“That is why, in addition to its existing intervention through the agency of UBEC, the Federal Government is working to recruit 500,000 teachers into basic education sector across the country.
”In Nigeria we need about 1.3 million teachers in the next 6 years. We are in no doubt, that without professional and qualitative teachers, the dream of building a globally competitive and development -oriented education system that instils and imbues the requisite skills and knowhow to our terming younger generation would continue to be a pipe-dream.
“The availability of qualified and competent teachers, their continuous training and retraining would have to be emphasised to complement other inputs in order to come up with quality basic education achievements”.
On inability of some states government to access the matching grant, Adamu said the federal government is doing everything possible to reduce or do away with the requirement of matching grant.
In his goodwill message, Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, said there is need for government to develop capacity of teachers.
“We need to emphasis more on training and development of teachers. We tend to emphasis more on infrastructure and neglect the development of our teachers .
“Most schools in Nigeria lack enough teachers, especially in the rural areas. Insensitive should be given to teachers in the rural areas”, he said.
The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Alhaji Dikko Suleiman, in his welcome address said research has shown that most teachers in the country don’t have access to trainings to update their knowledge, but the government through UBEC has been carrying out regular teacher professional development programmes for teachers and education managers.