By Temitope Mustapha,Abuja
The Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria has conducted its May diet Professional Qualifying Examinations PQE with about 30,000 candidates nationwide.
Monitoring the PQE in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono says government is ready to ensure that unemployed qualified and certified teachers are used to replace individuals teaching in Nigeria Basic Schools.
Echono said that ”the government has tasked the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria TRCN and the National Teachers Institute NTI, to compile a data Base of qualified teachers and those that have written the professional exam and are unemployed for easy placement.”
He said that the process would segregate the qualified and certified teachers and make them available state by state..
“We are serious about implementing the policy ,we are also working very hard to ensure that we are also ready. we are starting from individuals who are qualified and who do not have jobs to replace those people in few schools who are not qualified and are teaching around so that is the starting point for us,” Echono stated.
He emphasised that the government would fufil its responsibility of providing job for qualified teachers thereby addressing the challenge of dearth of qualified teachers in the system.
“We have the task of ensuring that anybody who has been certified as a teacher should be employed, we have no excuse for not addressing this huge dearth of qualified teachers so all those with TRCN PQE will be engaged to work and all those who do not have the certificate will be moved out of the system,” he explained.
On enforcement, the Permanent Secretary stated that an upgrade of the council’s quality assurance department has been done enabling TRCN to have offices in the 36 States of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.
Secondary Education Commission
He mentioned that the establishment of the Secondary Education Commission would also serve as a second measure so as to be able to enforce standards.
On extension of 2019 Deadline to take, Echono insisted that the Nigerian government would not change the deadline of December 2019, stressing that government will rather authorise TRCN to conduct additional diets very quickly before enforcing the deadline.
“The TRCN has been holding two diets although we have been receiving a lot of request from States requesting for extension in deadline we will look at the request on its merit before we do that, we must ensure that states have taken all the steps, if we look at intending numbers and we find out that the figure is huge we will then cross the bridge when we get there,” stated.
“Even if we have to do special ones in specific states we will do that”he said.
On the May diet of the 2019 PQE as observed, Echono said the process was more simplified as it is all electronic.
“We didn’t experience huge crowd at the registration stand…We didn’t have delay in biometrics and candidates photographs are attached to their pages. It is of international standard, I commend TRCN,”he said.
The Registrar of TRCN, Professor Josiah Ajiboye said about 30,000 candidates sat for the exams nationwide between June 7th and 8th.
“By January 2020, we are going to begin our enforcement and we may start from the private schools because the TRCN mandate covers both public and private schools,” Professor Ajiboye said.
One of the candidates in FCT, Onyebuchi Faith who is also a teacher in a private secondary school said accreditation began at exactly 8:30am at the SASCON CBT centre .
He said he encountered no challenge and with about 24 teachers in the school where he teaches, only one of them was certified.
For the May diet 2019 PQE, Plateau State had 2768 candidates, FCT 1564, Katsina 1433, Bauchi with two centres had 2177 candidates, Adamawa 875, Lagos State 900, Jigawa 1409. Sokoto had the lowest candidates with 185 people, Zamfara State had 191, Kaduna State had 3258 with the highest candidates followed by Imo State 2132.
The Nigerian government had said the deadline for unqualified teachers from the classroom remains Dec 31st 2019.