Mr. Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, has said that every qualified and licenced teacher would be employed as part of efforts to rid the educational system of unqualified teachers.
Echono said this while monitoring the May diet of the Teachers Professional Qualifying Examination organized by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday. He said:
“We are serious about implementing the policy and we are also working very hard to ensure that we also are ready.
“The first thing that is going to happen is that TRCN and NTI are compiling a database of qualified teachers, those that have been certified, those who have taken this examination, who are unemployed.
“And we are going to do it and even segregate them state by state and make them available to each state.
“That is going to be the first starting point. Anybody, who has been certified as a teacher should be employed because we have no excuse for that.
“We have a huge debt of qualified teachers, that we should have engaged. All those who are not qualified, we are sorry, we have to move them out of the system.
“Yes, there may be some issues relating to the number, that is why we want to ramp up the production process, we are taking so many measures.
“And enforcement is very key; we have taken two steps towards ensuring enforcement. We have upgraded what we call quality assurance department. It used to be called inspectorate, we now have state offices in all the states of the federation.
“The second step is to re-establish the secondary education commission. It has just been approved by Mr President to come on board and we are working out the modalities for how they will operate.
“What they will be doing, apart from mobilising additional resources to that segment of our education sector, they will be enforcing standards.
“Indeed, we are looking at even the possibility of collapsing our quality control and inspectorate division with the commission to ensure we effectively monitor together with our colleagues in the states.
“Whether you are in the private sector, whether it is government, community or faith-based school we will enforce this policy to the fullest’’
Echono reiterated that the deadline for flushing unqualified teachers from the classrooms remained December 31, adding that additional diets of the PQE may be conducted in order for teachers to meet up with the deadline.
The Permanent secretary commended TRCN for the smooth and simplified process of the examination describing it as being up to international standards.
“As you can see, it is all electronic. There are no huge crowd or delays; you come in, do your biometrics and when you log in, your picture is displayed. So, there is no issue of anyone sitting on your behalf.’’
30,000 teachers wrote the examination in 50 centres nationwide.