The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has established Teacher Development Department as part of strategies for enhancing the performance of basic education teachers in the country, the Executive Secretary, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, has said.
Bobboyi stated this in Kaduna on Wednesday at the opening of a 3-day meeting of UBEC management with Directors and Desk Officers in-charge of training in the 36 states and the FCT.
Boboyi, who was represented by the Director, Administration and Supply, Edwin Jarmai, said that the step was to make Teacher Professional Development (TPD) result based.
This, he said, would impact positively on the learning outcomes of pupils and students.
He explained that the department was charged with the responsibility of ensuring effective implementation of TDP programmes for basic education teachers.
Bobboyi also that the department would monitor and assess other interventions in teachers professional development for the purpose of collating and sharing best practices with states.
He said that the department would work closely with state Universal Basic Education Boards and other stakeholders, adding that the Federal Government has supported UBEC with the needed funds.
According to him, the move has become necessary in view of the growing concern over the quality of basic education delivery.
“A number of studies have revealed that the performance of learners in basic education has remained very poor with learners in primary five and six in some places operating at beginners’ level in literacy skills.
“The factor responsible for this is not unconnected with the poor quality of teachers, with most of them deficient in the content knowledge of the subject areas and lagging behind in the use of current instructional techniques.
“Several efforts have been made over the years to improve the capacity of teachers through in-service training, but the results have not been commensurate with the huge resources expended.
“Teachers have not changed their ways of teaching and learner’s performance has remained low.”
The UBEC boss noted that teachers must not only be equipped with the necessary competencies to cope with learners needs, but also supported to improve while in service.
He pointed out that skills that were applied to solve problems in the past were becoming obsolete and ineffective, while new and cost-effective products and tools were being rolled out on a daily bases.
According to him, the basic education sector needs teachers who will be able to operate in the current technology-driven world and effectively guide young learners to learn and succeed in life.
Bobboyi expressed disappointment with most state governments for non-accessing and utilisation of the unconditional Teacher Professional Development Fund.
“It is sad to note that at a time when there is an urgent need for the enhancement of the capacity of teachers and education managers, states are not forthcoming to access their TPD fund.
“So far, our reports show that all states accessed only 2015 funds and some 2016, and the 2017 and 2018 fund is already available.
“It is my hope that this meeting will address the challenges affecting timely access and utilisation of the funds,” he said.
Earlier, the Director, Teacher Development, Malam Unwaha Ismaila, explained that the meeting was organised to review progress and challenges over the years and discuss ways to improve the implementation of TPD programmes.
“This will enable us to lay a good foundation for the implementation of the 2017 and 2018 TPD programmes to make it more effective in all states of the federation,” Ismaila said.