By Reporters/Felix Ajide
Abuja – The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) says it is collaborating effectively with the the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), to ensure the registration of all qualified teachers.
The National President of NUT, Mr Michael Alogba-Olukoya, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that the NUT held a meeting with the council earlier in the month to fine-tune the process.
He told NAN that the union was in support of the move by TRCN to register teachers and flush out non professional teachers from the classrooms by 2018.
“The council has assured us that the registration will now be digital instead of filling of forms.
“Everything can now be done in the comfort of your homes,” he said.
The chairman also disclosed that the NUT, in collaboration with the TRCN, would soon begin to picket private schools which fail to conform with the Federal Government’s directive.
He also explained that the exercise would help to monitor teachers and ensure that only qualified teachers would be in the education sector.
Alogba-Olukoya said that the TRCN had enough personnel to ensure implementation of the exercise, adding that the council has coordinators in every state of the country.
Mr Gabriel Agbashi, Chairman, Nasarawa State Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS), while commending TRCN for its resolve, observed that the alarming rate of non-professional teachers in the teaching job was “worrisome”.
Mr Akeem Lasisi, the Oyo state Chairman of ASUSS, said that the union was in support of the move by TRCN to register teachers.
“There is a need to register teachers all over the federation so as to know the number of teachers we are having and we are in support with the decision of TRCN to register teachers.
“In 2001, TRCN registered teachers in Nigeria at the rate of N1,500 per teacher.
“Teachers in the South- West part of the country massively registered in the exercise.
“In 2003 again, we were told that the 2001 exercise was no longer valid as it was not approved by the Federal Government and another body was again set up.
“We were told that those that registered in 2001 needed not to register because their names would be incorporated into that of 2003 exercise.
“Later, we were told that the money we paid in 2001 will be refunded to the teachers so that we should register again in 2003.
“Many of the teachers had already registered in 2003 and now you want to say that we should start paying annual subscription fees,” he said.
Mr Bayo Babalola, the Principal, Tunyo Comprehensive College, Iyana-Iyesi, Ota, Ogun, however, expressed doubt over the successful implementation of the decision.
“TRCN lacks the political will to implement the policy because they have been saying this for the past 10 years,” he said.
Mr Waheed Olojede, Secretary of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Oyo State, has commended the decision of the Council to eliminate unregistered and non-professional teachers from teaching service starting from 2018.
Olojede, who also doubles as the state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that the decision would eliminate quacks from teaching profession which is regarded as a noble profession.
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria roll out an Act that establish the TRCN and every person that operates under the body must conform with it rules and regulations.
“This implies that the proprietor of private schools must conform by recruiting qualified teacher and there should not be exemption for anybody,’’ he said.
Malam Labaran Garba, Secretary-General, Niger Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), said that the ongoing registration of teachers by the TRCN would boost the quality education in Nigeria.
“The ongoing registration will assist in flushing out quacks and unqualified teachers from the educational sector.
“TRCN and NUT are working in synergy toward ridding the teaching profession of “strangers and tourists,” he said.
Dr Mojeed Kolawole, a lecturer at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, expressed support for the TRCN on the exercise, saying it would ensure that standards were met.
He also said while TRCN needed to eliminate quacks in the teaching profession, there was need for synergy among stakeholders in the education sector.
‘’It is not enough for the TRCN to work on elimination of quacks in the teaching profession, the rudiments of teaching has also been bastardised and must be restored,’’ he said.
The Commissioner for Education in Ekiti, Mr Jide Egunjobi, told NAN that the present administration had introduced a number of incentives such as local and foreign training to promote quality of education and boost teachers morale.
Others include payment of rural teaching allowance to teachers who work in rural areas as well as payment of special allowance to teachers that teach core subjects such as Mathematics, English and the sciences.
He disclosed that the state government had also commenced upgrading of infrastructure in all its schools.