The Federal Government has said it would engage the nation’s teachers in digital literacy training by next year.
Part of the incentives the government is rolling out for the project is the provision of laptops to all registered and qualified teachers.
The aim,according to the Registrar of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria,TRCN,Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, who disclosed this to newsmen at the weekend, in Abuja,is to keep teachers abreast with current developments with a view to adopting the changing teaching methods.
“The classroom dynamics keep on changing and the teacher needs to be abreast with current developments in teaching and that is why they need training and retraining,” he explained,adding,” Our teachers need to be digitally serving.”
Ajiboye said the Federal Ministry of Education had already assured that the project he called “one-teacher one-laptop project ” will be given priority among other teachers’ welfare matters in the coming year.
He said the project was in fulfilment of the digital literacy training project promised the Nigerian teachers by the current federal administration.
He said:”The ministers of education (Mallam Adamu Adamu and Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba) have assured us that there is going to be a project by next year called one-teacher one-laptop project.
” In this project,teachers are going to pay for these laptops but it’s going to be an instalmental thing.
Apart from the laptops, other teachers’ welfare matter will be given speedy consideration.” “Our teachers should be paid as an when due and their allowances and everything should not be delayed.
This should also include training and retraining of teachers,” he said, adding,” A situation where a teacher has been in the same position since appointment ten years ago does not augur well for our education system.”
Prof. Ajiboye,who said over two million teachers have so far registered and participated in the Professional Qualifying Examination, PQE, disclosed that government would start monitoring schools for compliance in engagement of only qualified teachers by January with a view to weeding out unqualified ones.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we will start monitoring with effect from January, monitoring for compliance with effect from January.
“The aim is not to sack people but to sanitize our education system,to make sure that we remove quackery from the system,because we find quacks everywhere-in Medicine, in Law,everywhere.
” The aim is to remove quackery and to make sure that teaching profession is no longer an all-comers affairs,because anybody who has nothing to do will say ‘let me go and manage teaching,that’s absurd,”he said.
He further explained that:”The ultimate goal we are trying to achieve here is to improve on the quality of education, especially basic education in our country.
And that is our goal, we know that a teacher holds a special in doing that.”
He said there was a huge upsurge in the number of teachers who took the examination in the November batch because of the December 31 deadline given by government for all teachers to get TCRN’s certification or find themselves to blame.
He spoke further:”Our Professional Qualifying Examination this year was extraordinary because of the deadline.
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There was a surge in the number of people that took the PQE 2019. We have the first examination in May and there was over 50,000 people that took the examination and by the last October examination, we had already had over 69,000 that took the examination and by November examination, we had over 77,000 people that participated.
This showed that progressively, Nigerians have now imbibed the idea of what we are doing.
“Somebody may ask what is the benefit of this. Now,we are getting their data bank of those who are qualified because before you even take the examination in the first instance, you must have the requisite qualification.
“The examination also serve as another gate keeping exercise to sieve out those who are qualified because it is only those who pass that examination that would get the certificate of TRCN, that means the people we are pushing out are those people that we can be sure of.
“The examination has also been able to help us a little bit to weed out those who should not actually be in the classroom.
And we are going to continue in 2020 along this line,to make sure that we strengthen that examination. We are even going to have more examination in the year.
If I go by my own thinking, I think we should be having it in a quarter because we should not wait until the number become huge and becomes very difficult to administer.
Making it quarterly will make us to also be able to supervise it more effectively.
“Apart from teachers’ professionalism,we should also focus on teachers’ welfare.
It is very important and that is why I appreciate the ministers of education in what they are doing.”