Over 90% of Private School Teachers In South-West Not Qualified – TRCN

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The Teachers Registration Council has said that over 90 per cent of private school teachers in South-west states are unqualified.

The regulatory body for the teaching profession in Nigeria made the revelation on Thursday.

South-West states include: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti.

According to the registrar of the TRCN, Professor Josiah Ajiboye, the teachers are unqualified due to their lack of qualifications to enable them to register with the council.

Speaking in Abuja on Thursday when the council signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with a South African-based educational organisation, Instill Education, to upskill in-service teachers in Nigeria.

 Ajiboye, who signed the document in Abuja in the company of his management team, said a pilot phase of implementation of the MoU will soon commence with capacity building for eight weeks.

Ajiboye said the MoU has three major components- pre-service teachers, integrating pre-service with in-service teachers and their capacity-building programmes while expressing confidence that the involvement of Instill Education would bridge the gap between pre-service and in-service teachers.

“With regards to our teachers, if you look at what we have said here today, three major components actually were identified: the pre-service teachers, even integrating pre-service with the in-service.

“We have looked at pre-service teachers, the in-service teachers and their training programmes and we have been able to see that there is a gap,” he said.

The TRCN boss lamented that a large number of teachers employed in private schools in Nigeria today are not qualified, in the first instance, to be called teachers, adding that a survey carried out by the council showed that over 90 per cent of the teachers in private schools in the Southwest are not qualified and not registerable with the TRCN.

“So, these people are not registerable with TRCN because they don’t possess the requisite qualification that will allow us to register them. There’s a big gap there.

“Instill may be looking in the future on how to fill that gap. Like they are doing in South Africa; they may also, but the major component of this MoU is about the in-service teachers. How do we go about capacitating these in-service teachers, and upskilling them?

“And that’s what Instill is coming with; they are upcoming with their expertise and technology to be able to help us to do this kind of capacitation for our teachers. 

“We’ve been talking over time, about mandatory continuing professional development for teachers, where teachers are going to take certain capacity development programmes and they will get points and this will count towards the renewal of their licence as well as their promotion,” he added.

On his part, the Dean of Operation at Instill Education, Mr Tom Parry, said the training received through his organisation will always end with a practical applicable component so that teachers have an opportunity to practice and understand.

Parry said the MoU will focus on upskilling in-service teachers, adding that in the future, his organisation hopes to bring together the pre and in-service programmes into a micro-credential division so that teachers can continuously upskill themselves, gain access to relevant quality, affordable practical training that is recognised by the government, practical in their classrooms and help them to deliver better learning outcomes.

“Beyond the simple training processes that we build into our platform, we also think about the incentive structures.

“So, this is where we’re talking more about this workforce development platform. Teachers, I mean, there are some teachers who will be incentivized simply to do training for the sake of getting better.

“But the reality is, many teachers have childcare or other care responsibilities, they have second jobs, they have other lives, they cannot always dedicate the time needed to do it just for the goodwill of it just for the love of training,” he said.

Parry lamented that 90 per cent of learners in Africa cannot read for meaning by the end of primary school while 30 per cent of primary teachers and 50 per cent of secondary teachers are unqualified.

He added that it is just the nature of the system and not an indictment of it, and without recognising these realities, we cannot start to address them.

Earlier, the TRCN Director, Planning, Research and Statistics Mr Ugo-Ali Lawrence, said the Council first met with representatives of Instill Education on November 14, 2022, where it commenced discussions on the proposed collaboration to train Nigerian teachers.

Lawrence said since 2015, the organisation has delivered over 1.5 million hours of professional development, coaching and mentoring sessions to about 100,000 teachers and school leaders across 5 countries namely, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and India.

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