The Federal Government has said that plans are underway to adopt a career path policy for Nigerian teachers in which First Class or Second Class Upper will be the minimum qualification for teachers.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, said this while monitoring teachers’ Professional Qualifying Examination, PQE, organised by Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, on Saturday, in Abuja.
According to him, such a policy will stem the spate of unqualified teachers in the country.
He added that a national implementation committee will be set up soon in that respect.
Mr Echono said: “We are planning to lead entry for those with First Class or Second Class Upper as a minimum, as we are serious about implementing the policy.
“Whether you are in the private sector, government, community or faith-based school, we will enforce this policy to the fullest.
“The first thing that is going to happen is that TRCN and NTI are compiling a database of qualified teachers.
“That is, those that have been certified and those who have taken this examination who are unemployed,” he said.
He added that “we are arranging an enhanced remuneration package for such teachers, those teaching sciences and peculiar allowances for teachers taking students with special needs.
“We are currently working on a special teachers salary scale.
“We are finalising the figure with national salaries income and wages commission and as we speak some of them have been proposed.
“We are working with stakeholders on making a presentation with NUT. We are also considering views of employers like state governments and private school owners.”
In his remarks, the Registrar and Chief Executive of TRCN, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, stated that the council started PQE with 7.000 and rose to over 40,000 in 2019.
He noted that the 2020 figure dropped to 17, 602 due to the COVID 19 Pandemic.
“We have a short period to register teachers for the examination and perhaps that is why there is a sharp drop in the number. However, we feel very strongly that we are going to pick up next year.
“We promised Nigerians to be having this examination at least two times a year that is why we have to go ahead.
“We will also commence registration for the next diet or set for 2021 to be held between February and March.”
Mr Ajiboye thanked the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, for giving the directive for work to commence on facilitating teaching, ensuring allowance for science teachers and teachers taking persons with special needs.
Muktar Akoshile, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) representative, who observed the PQE said it was well conducted while COVID-19 guidelines were strictly adhered to.
According to him, the examination gives CSOs the opportunity to rate the quality of teachers that the system was generating.