From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) yesterday in Kogi, commenced enforcement of the National Council on Education mandate, to ensure that teachers are qualified, registered and licensed.
Our Correspondent reports that a team from the Federal Ministry of Education, led by Dr Umar Hassan, Provost, Federal College of Education, Okene, visited some schools in Lokoja, Kogi capital, to enforce the mandate.
The team comprised representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education, TRCN, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS).
Hassan noted that the exercise was happening simultaneously in all states of the federation..
According to him, enforcement of teachers’ certification is to add value to the teaching profession, make sure the right things are done and not to intimidate teacher.
”Even where the teachers are found to be lacking in one way or the other, our mandate is to encourage them and let them be aware of what they need to do.
”It is an exercise that will enable teachers to make themselves more marketable. We don’t want the teaching job to be for an all comers affair; it must be regulated,” he said.
He advised teachers in the state to ensure that they completed the three stages of certification which was to first qualify, register and get licensed.
The State Coodiinator of TRCN in Kogi, Mrs Zainab Lawal, said that the minimum qualification for a teacher in Nigeria was the National Certificate in Education (NCE).
”If you have an NCE, you are already qualified as a teacher to write our Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE). But if you fail, you have to rewrite it until you pass.
”We want to make sure that we have qualified teachers who know what they are doing and can defend their certificates,” she said.
She noted that the professional qualifying examination was conducted three times yearly, and urged the qualified teachers to take advantage of it and register to get certified.
Mr Idris Mohammed, Public Relations Officer of NUT in Kogi, who represented the Chairman, Mr Thomas Ayodele, expressed full support for the exercise, but urged government to improve teachers’ remuneration.
Schools visited by the team included: JULITOLA International School, IRAWO Secondary School, EAGLES Academy, N/P School, Lokogonma, among others.
One of the teachers, Mr John Toyin, commended the TRCN for the exercise, and observed that it was entirely different from what they heard in the media.