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Don’t blame teachers–TRCN registrar

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By Abraham Adekunle

Ajiboye says it's unfair to blame teachers for failure in UTME.

Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, the TRCN-everything-you-need-to-know" target="_blank">Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) Registrar, has stated that it is unfair to blame teachers solely for students’ poor performance in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). In an interview, Ajiboye emphasized that teachers are not the only factor influencing students’ performance and that other elements such as health issues, logistical challenges, examination environment, and psychological factors also play a significant role. He highlighted that Nigerian teachers are among the best globally and have consistently shown remarkable resilience, dedication, and commitment, producing top-notch graduates both nationally and internationally.

He noted that many successful students, including those studying abroad, owe their achievements to these same teachers. The TRCN registrar pointed out that the performance of students in a single-month examination like the UTME cannot serve as a comprehensive evaluation of Nigerian teachers. Nigerian educators have consistently shown remarkable resilience, dedication, and commitment, producing top-notch graduates both nationally and internationally. Many successful students, including those studying abroad, owe their achievements to these same teachers. It’s worth noting that many students who struggled in the UTME still performed well in their previous examinations.

Teachers are deserving of recognition in Nigeria.

UTME is essentially an aptitude test, not a measure of overall academic achievement or the effectiveness of teaching. It serves as a selection tool rather than an assessment of learning outcomes. So, attributing poor performance solely to teachers overlooks numerous other factors at play. Various elements such as health issues, logistical challenges, examination environment, and psychological factors can significantly impact a student’s performance on a given day. Thus, it’s unfair to solely blame teachers for the outcomes of a high-stakes, one-time examination.

Nigerian teachers deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication, but we must avoid oversimplifying the complexities of student performance. Rather than solely focusing on educators, we should explore the multifaceted aspects influencing examination results. Nigerian teachers are among the best globally, and they continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our nation’s youth. The TRCN registrar also expressed concern about the low remuneration of teachers, particularly in the Private Sector, where many schools offer meager Salaries despite their size and capacity.

Improved welfare packages and remuneration good motivation.

Also, he emphasized that well-remunerated and motivated teachers are more likely to perform at their best, leading to improved educational outcomes. Ajiboye stressed that it is unrealistic to expect teachers to excel in their roles when they are struggling with financial hardships. Adequate remuneration is essential to ensure that educators can focus on their responsibilities without worrying about meeting their Basic Needs. Low salaries contribute to a deficit in learning outcomes, hindering educational progress in our country.

This issue extends beyond just private schools; there’s a significant disparity in teacher salaries between private and public institutions. Even within public schools, there’s a pressing need for the government, as the employer of teachers, to prioritize improving welfare packages. While some states have made commendable efforts in paying teachers promptly and offering better welfare packages, others are lagging. All stakeholders must advocate for improved welfare for teachers. Naming and shaming some private schools that neglect their teachers’ welfare could catalyse change.

Related Article: Only 2.4M teachers meet qualifications–TRCN

Media attention can highlight these disparities and pressure schools to address them. It’s unacceptable that some schools charge high tuition fees from parents but fail to adequately compensate their teachers. Education should not be seen as a profit-making venture; prioritizing profit over the welfare of educators undermines the integrity of the education system. As a regulatory body, we are closely monitoring private schools, and we acknowledge that some have made strides in improving teacher salaries.


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