*To consider candidates with 2.1 qualifications also
By Joseph Erunke
THE federal government said Saturday that only professional teachers with First Class certificates will be employed beginning from next year, 2021.
The government which said it would also consider people with 2.1 qualifications, explained that the measure was part of its renewed efforts to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echonu made this known during a monitoring exercise of the Professional Qualifying Examination,PQE, organised by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria,TRCN.
No fewer than 17, 602 teachers from across 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are expected to participate in the examinations.
Addressing newsmen, Echono who stressed that the decision was aimed at having only the best brains in Nigerian classrooms as teachers, insists that as from 2021, only qualified teachers would be allowed to teach in the country.
According to him, a national implementation committee would be inaugurated in the coming week to ensure federal government’s agenda on teachers registration and revitalisation was achieved, especially, the entry qualification for teachers in schools.
In his words: “With effect from next year, we will not admit or engage people as teachers if they don’t meet a particular threshold. We are now limiting entry to only the best.
“You must have a first class or 2:1 as minimum and if you have qualification in other subjects that is not in education, we will arrange for a conversion programme to be administered by NTI, TRCN and any university that has faculties of education or this programme because you also have to learn ways of communicating and managing students.
“We are migrating teachers who are not qualified or do not have the requisite qualifications, competency, not licensed or registered to pseamless.out of our classrooms to make way for qualified personnel because we want to achieve learning and teaching and learning occurs in our schools.”
Impressed with the conduct of the PQE, he encouraged teachers who were yet to sit for the examinations to do so, adding that government through the TRCN, would continue to conduct the examinations for teachers.
Registrar/Chief Executive Officer TRCN, Prof Josiah Ajiboye who disclosed that Nigerians in diaspora have begun to sit for the examinations via online platforms without necessarily travelling back to Nigeria, noted that their certificates would be sent across even as the Council would write to the Teaching Council of countries where Nigerians were seeking for or engaged in their education system as teachers.
“There are Nigerians in diaspora who before they can get any teaching position must show evidence they are professional teachers and that they are registered with their teaching regulatory authority before they left the country.
“To provide that evidence you need to write our exams because we cannot issue you the letter of professional standing without sitting for TRCN examination and so we have placed the examination online for Nigerians in the diaspora and the response has been very huge. We have Nigerians cutting across countries of the world now writing the examinations.”
Ajiboye who said the low number of candidates sitting for the present PQE diet could be as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed that the next PQE would take place around the months of February and March next year.
“We have promised Nigerians we will have the examination minimum of twice in a year; that is why we have to go ahead. We have begun registration for the next diet which is going to come up around February/ March next year and the figure we are getting is rising.”