THE Registrar of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) Professor Josiah Ajiboye, has revealed that Nigeria needs recruit additional 250,000 teachers annually in order to address the challenge of shortfall of teachers in primary and post-primary schools across the country.
He also said that there was no going back on the December 2019 deadline to flush out all those teaching in Nigeria without requisite qualification.
Ajiboye, spoke on Thursday in Abuja at a media roundtable with members of Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN).
He said: “Some teachers are leaving the profession; some are retiring and are not being replaced.
“We need about 250,000 teachers annually because we have a shortage of teachers. The insurgency in the Northeast has made the situation critical,” he said.
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Ajiboye, said the TRCN has registered about 2 million qualified teachers since the inception of the Council, adding that over 500,000 teachers were registered in the last two years under his administration, noting that over a million was registered before he came on board.
He disclosed that the National Council on Education (NCE), which is the highest policy making body in education, had given moratorium of two years from 2017 to December 2019, for all those teaching without minimum qualification of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) to upgrade themselves or be flushed out of the system.
He reiterated that the December 2019 remains sacrosanct, saying “we still have a year to go now, anyone that is still in the classroom that is not registered and licensed by TRCN, will not be allowed to teach from January 2020”.
The TRCN boss said the Council has carried out census in six states, selected from each of the six geopolitical zones of the country where database on teachers have been generated, indicating the number of qualified teachers, those teaching but not qualified, those who are registered and those not registered.
“The Council had taken a position a long time ago and it was reaffirmed at its Kano meeting in 2017 that anybody that is not qualified, not registered and licenced by TRCN by December 2019 would not be allowed in a classroom.
“The moratorium period was two years and we now have a year to go. By January 2020, we will begin to do enforcement and remove them from our classrooms,” he said.
He added that the data also captured those licensed and those not licensed, saying the enforcement of removing unqualified teachers from the system would commence from those pilot states and cascaded to all the states of the federation.
He listed the states selected for the pilot project to include, Nasarawa state for North Central, Ogun for South-West, Ebonyi for South-East, Cross River for South-South, Jigawa for North West, and Bauchi for North East.
He said: “When I was appointed in 2016, by President Muhammadu Buhari, part of the mandate is to remove quacks from the teaching profession in Nigeria”.
He, however, decried the challenge of acute shortage of teachers in Nigeria, saying it was unfortunate that one could find just three or four teachers teaching all subjects in the entire school.
He said the problem of shortage of teachers was not limited to Nigeria, pointing out that at the global level, there is the shortfall of over 17 million teachers.
He said: “Globally, there is the shortfall of about 17 million teachers with a large number coming from sub-Saharan Africa. In Sub-Saharan Africa, we have over 7 million shortfall of teachers and the largest chunk coming from Nigeria.”
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