By Sunday Akintoye
The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria( TRCN) will soon begin clamp down on unqualified teachers in public and private schools nationwide.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of the council, Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
He said with plans to fully reopen schools across the country, the council was set to swing into action by visiting schools to ascertain their level of compliance with the TRCN Act.
Ajiboye noted that the move had become necessary following the continued determination of the council to maintain high standard of education in the country.
He lamented that in spite of the grace period given to unqualified teachers across the country to get qualified and registered with the council, there were still records of many unqualified teachers.
According to him, of over four million teachers in various institutions of learning in the country, only about two million were registered with the council as qualified teachers.
“The mandate of TRCN is about teacher professionalism in public and private schools and National Council on Education has directed that anybody who wants to teach must be qualified and registered with TRCN.
“We have about 2.2 million teachers that are registered with TRCN and the figure is still extremely low because from available statistics we have about four million teachers in the country.
“That means a large number of them are still not registered. We first of all check if they are qualified before we talk of registration and as such we first carry out monitoring for compliance.
“We started in February before the lockdown to check those who are not qualified and what should be done in that regard.Now that the Federal Government is considering all indices for full reopening of schools, we are also set to continue from where we stopped in February.
“TRCN has offices in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). So we move round to check compliance,” he said.
The registrar commended efforts made by critical stakeholders, particularly state governors in ensuring that unqualified teachers under their employment got qualified to avoid being laid off.
He, therefore, urged affected teachers to take advantage of such opportunities to get qualified and registered with TRCN or risk being laid off and prosecuted.
“TRCN has the power to remove unqualified teachers. We are the only one that can call anybody a teacher.
“We are trying to start what is called naming and shaming to send to state governments for them to know the number of teachers that are in their employment list that are not qualified.
“We are calling on all teachers that are not qualified to remediate their deficiencies and get qualified.In view of that state governments are directing teachers to go back to school to get qualified. So, those affected are asked to comply in their best interest.”
Ajiboye, asked teachers who were yet to be registered with the council to take advantage of the next opening for qualifying examination, coming up in November to do the noble or risk sanction.