By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja – The Chief Executive, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, says an estimated 250,000 teachers are required yearly to address the shortage in teaching and learning.
Ajiboye who spoke at an interactive session with Education Correspondents in Abuja on Thursday, said there was also a global shortfall of about 17 million teachers with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for the highest number.
He noted that as a country with the largest number of out of school children, there was need for adequate teachers to meet the learning and teaching needs of children.
Ajiboye, however, said that states like Jigawa were already keying into the initiative by massive employment of teachers to solve the challenge of teacher to pupil ratio.
He noted that so far, 2 million teachers had been registered since TRCN was established, adding that more than 500 qualified teachers were registered within his two years as the head of the council.
On the professional standard of teachers, Ajiboye said the council was already working with the National Teacher’s Institute (NTI) to review and reprint the professional standard of education.
He noted that with set standards, teachers could compete favourably with their counterparts across the world.
According to him, the council is working hard to flush out quacks in the profession as the December 2019 deadline for the removal of unqualified teachers still stands.
He noted that by January 2020, the council would begin enforcement of eliminating unqualified teachers from the profession both in private and public schools.
He warned teachers who were yet to register to do so before the deadline.
“Any country that wants to develop must give constant attention to her education.
“We know that globally, there is a shortfall in the number of teachers with the highest number coming from the Sub-Saharan African countries.
“Nigeria has a need for many teachers considering the large number of out of school children resulting from the insurgency in the North East.
“The challenge is that so many teachers are retiring every year without replacement; but if we can have about 250,000 qualified teachers being recruited annually, the narrative will change.
“We are hopeful that the number of qualified teachers to take care of teaching needs will increase if other states emulate Jigawa.
Speaking on plans for digital training of teachers, Ajiboye explained that the council had put in place a digital literary training programme for teachers in 17 states.
He said President Muhamnadu Buhari had also picked the digital literary training programme as part of his re-election priorities to ensure teachers were digitally literate.
“The digital training was done in Ibadan bringing together about 10 states, which was also recently done in Kano.
“We have been able to bring together 17 states and trained teachers in those states.
“We are going to continue the training in the other states that have not been covered by 2019 and this is already in the budget,’’ he added.