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FG pegs minimum qualification for govt teachers @ 2nd Class Upper

By Ihechi Enyinnaya

The Federal Government has pegged minimum qualification for teaching in government schools at 2nd class upper.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono stated this on Saturday after monitoring the Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE), organised by the TRCN on Saturday in Abuja.

He said beginning from next year, only qualified teachers will be allowed in the classrooms, the Federal Government has said.

Echono said the decision to regulate the teaching profession is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Nigerian schools.

According to him, only persons with a minimum of Second Class Upper (2/1), would be engaged as teachers in government schools.

Recall that the National Council on Education had set December 31, 2019, as the deadline for all teachers in the country to register and be certified by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).

But the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which led to the closure of schools for months nationwide meant the government couldn’t enforce the regulation.

17, 602 teachers from across 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sat for the examination.

Teachers from Ekiti and Jigawa didn’t participate because they didn’t meet up with the 100 teachers benchmark for registration.

Addressing reporters, Echono said a national implementation committee would be inaugurated in the coming weeks to ensure the federal government’s agenda on teachers registration and revitalisation was achieved, especially, the entry qualification for teachers in schools.

He said: “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 a 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 seamless out of our classrooms to make way for qualified personnel because we want to achieve learning and teaching and learning occurs in our schools.”

He urged teachers who are yet to sit for the examinations to do so, adding that the 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 the 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 the 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 the 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,” he stated.

Ajiboye attributed the low number of candidates sitting for this month’s PQE to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “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.”

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