The Federal government has vowed to shut the door against unqualified personnel parading as teachers in government-owned and private schools across the country.
The assurance came as about 17,141 teachers from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory wrote the Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) administered by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).
Speaking while supervising the conduct of the examination in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc Sonny Echono, said the move is to ensure professionalisation of teachers.
Echono warned that nobody should be employed as a teacher if they do not have teaching qualification, pointing out that anyone that is not qualified as a teacher cannot teach.
“We have commenced the process of enforcing and implementing the policy of allowing only qualified teachers in all our schools across the country. We are starting with government schools and will thereafter move to private schools.
“We are already in good discussion with both states and private proprietors to ensure that this is done because this is the single largest investment you can make for your country, the future generation in ensuring that they get good quality education,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary added that the conduct of the examination has been encouraging, due to some new IT features introduced to checkmate malpractices.
Echono also disclosed that the ministry is collaborating with Ministry of Communication, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and other agencies that require data to have a situation where the identity of all primary school children will be captured as soon as they register in any primary school in the country.
Earlier, Mrs. Jacinta Ogboso, TRCN Acting Director, Specification and Licensing, disclosed that about 17,141 participated in the batch ‘A’ examination nationwide. While disclosing that Osun State has the highest number of candidates, she added that all teachers must sit and pass the examination before they would be considered as qualified teachers.
On the issue of teachers with special needs, she said the TRCN chief executive has been addressing the issue. “The issue of people with special needs among teachers is something that cannot be overlooked. However, there are certain issues that one cannot wake up and deal with in just one day.
“We have commenced the process of addressing, identifying and knowing the number of those with such needs, especially the visually impaired. We are already in discussion with institutions that specialise in that area like the Federal College of Education, Oyo,” she said.