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FG decry unqualified private school teachers

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By Mercy Kelani

TRCN affirmed that this practice has led to poor education in the country.

Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, the registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), accused most of the proprietors of private schools for the employment of unqualified teachers, which has led to poor education in the country. TRCN, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria, has an obligation to control and regulate the teaching profession in private and public sectors. The registrar alleged that proprietors of private schools employ quacks or unprofessional teachers just to have teachers in their schools.

In contrast to the qualified and well-trained teachers in public schools, he said that private schools employment criteria for qualified teachers is very bad. The registrar stated that private school teachers in Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Ogun States, at the rate of about 90 percent, were not competent to be accredited with the council. He said that mobilization of private school teachers is done by TRCN as the council that they are registered for Professional Diploma in Education before they can be certified with TRCN. The States were called on by TRCN to scrutinize the list of teachers in new schools before proper registration.

Commercialization of education should be erased.

Enlightenment campaigns have also been initiated by TRCN for teachers in private schools to improve their level of professionalism. Quack teachers are employed in private school for the purpose of maximizing profit, however some private schools owners have been discouraged from these practices. He stated that engagement of the private sector in education is an acceptable collaboration, owing to the fact that the government is not capable of providing education to the increasing population of children in Nigeria. Qualified and competent teachers are needed to provide quality education, with the removal of education commercialization.

However, Abayomi Otubela, the President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), disagreed with the allegations of the TRCN, stating that the council might be referring to illegitimate schools, because all teachers in private schools are certified and professional. He asserted that over 90 percent of teachers in approved private schools are certified, nevertheless, there are illegal schools which are operating without been certified. He implored the government to establish more schools with complete infrastructure to end the existence of illegal schools.

NAPTAN President agreed with the TRCN on the state of private schools.

Haruna Danjuma, the National President of the National Parents-Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), agreed with the TRCN that there are more unqualified teachers than the certified ones in private schools. He further highlighted the categories of private schools, saying there are those that are not certified with Ministry of Education and are at the lower level in the community. Also, a number of proprietors are not certified to be involved in education because they are not trained teachers. For a quality education, trained teachers, either serving or retired, are the ones certified enough to head a school.

Nevertheless, Danjuma affirmed that there are some private schools that do have certified teachers that outnumber the uncertified ones. This is in contrast to the statistics of quack private schools. Danjuma urged parents to be aware of the number of teachers in their children’s schools, whether they are registered or not. Dr. Oludare Olufowobi, the Chairman of the Committee of TRCN, Lagos State University, stated that he was aware on the promotion of professionalized teaching initiated by the TRCN to eradicate poor education in the country. Prof. Peter Ogunjuyigbe, an educationist in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, blamed the issues of poor education on the rise in unemployment in the country.

Government should organize trainings for private school teachers.

According to Ogunjuyigbe, quality education will continue to decrease because of the rate of unqualified teachers. He implored the government to organize trainings for private school teachers. Dele Olateju, an educationist, said that pupils at the elementary are deprived of adequate exposure and standard education if unqualified teachers are employed. The signing of a communiqué by Stephen Knabayi, the Chairman; Margaret Jethro, Secretary; and Haruna Samson, the publicity secretary, was a detailed deliberation and move on the welfare of the teachers and the state of education. One of the objectives of the union is to protest for the payment of the teachers allowance.

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