In April 2022, Professor Josiah Ajiboye, the Registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), remarked at an event that teachers own the keys to national development because they produce all other professionals. Ajiboye added that the growth of any nation is measured by the quality of education it produces, noting that quality teaching professionals remain an invaluable factor. Arguably, quality education should be driven by quality teachers, he added. Incidentally, the profession is plagued by the activities of quacks.
This is happening at a time the TRCN Registrar said the Council had increased the training of teachers in 24 states across the country from 30,000 to 45,000 teachers to deliver 21st century education and ensure professionalism in the sector. Accelerating teacher’s classroom delivery in mathematics, English studies and ICT According to the TRCN Registrar, about 50 per cent of teachers in both public and private schools are not qualified. Many of the teachers in this category, findings have shown, do not have basic teaching educational qualifications, which is the National Certificate in Education (NCE) as stipulated by the National Policy on Education. The Council has about 1.8 million registered teachers on its database as of May, and about 27 per cent of teachers in the Southwest geo-political zone are not qualified.
Education experts believe quackery accounts for the lack of ethical and moral responses to educational matters at school and home. It was on the back of this that the Council took a capacity building workshop to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for teachers drawn from the six states in the Southwest. This is, perhaps, in fulfillment of an agreement the TRCN had in 2016 with the Nigerian Union of Teachers to work together to sanitise the profession through proper teacher registration, certification and licensing. Professor Ajiboye had in 2016 said that TRCN and NUT had agreed to set up a standing committee towards ridding the profession of quacks. “If medical doctors or an engineer make mistakes, one life is destroyed, but if a teacher makes a mistake, it is a generational mistake,” he said, stressing the critical role of the teacher in nation-building.
“So, we must join forces to rescue this nation from quackery to deliver 21st- century education for the country,” he added.’ – During the two-day training, he emphasised that “Nigeria needs teachers who will meet the nation’s expectations; teachers who will help the nation raise a generation of citizens whose performance will meet the international standards; a generation who will be prosperous, vibrant and peaceful.
“We cannot achieve the expected quality education without competent teachers and school administrators, well equipped with the desirable knowledge, skills and effective operations of the education system.” According to him, through teacher capacity building, TRCN aims to constantly equip the teachers with the necessary knowledge, orientation and exposure to empower them to meet society’s expectations. Ajiboye disclosed that the teaching professionalisation drive which TRCN is championing is geared towards the holistic development of the Nigerian teacher through training and retraining and exposing them to the best knowledge and techniques that will enable them to deliver effectively in their career as well as position them to compete favourably in the global arena. He said: “Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) is a critical element of every great profession because it serves as a means by which professionals increase their knowledge, skills, ethics, and competence over time.
The objective of Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) is to open teachers up to new ideas in the teaching profession around the globe. “The MCPD also allows teachers to develop and demonstrate their profound competence against set standards. Such an opportunity is intended to be original, creative, and thought-provoking.
This explains why this year’s MCPD focuses on Accelerating Teachers’ Classroom Delivery in Mathematics, English Studies, and ICT.” Speaking at the event, Raji Oladimeji Ismail, the Chairman of the Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), commended the management of TRCN for the holistic turnaround of the teaching profession in Nigeria. “Today, teaching has not only been professionalised, it has turned and retooled to be a distinct profession in Nigeria courtesy of the leadership sagacity of Professor Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye and his team,” Ismail said. He stressed that teachers must continuously undergo training sessions to stay abreast of global trends, particularly in technology. Ismail said continuing professional development training is a mandatory annual ritual for TRCN, in accordance with the Act that established it. Peep into Mandatory Continuing
Ajiboye noted that the teaching profession is the major driver of the educational system as teachers are the determinants of quality of education in any country, adding that the quality of teachers is very central to the education system in the country as no system can develop beyond the quality of its teachers. Describing the teacher as a nation builder, he said teaching is the mother of all professions, which creates other professions. According to him, the teaching profession in Nigeria has attracted a lot of criticism, stating that Nigeria is the only country where people who are not qualified stand in front of children to teach.
He warned that “in a society where their best brains do not want to be teachers, their children would be taught to by idiots.” The TRCN Registrar noted that the council is correcting a situation where teaching was an all-comers profession to ensure that only those professionally qualified and certified are allowed to teach. Ajiboye said the Nigerian Government had discovered the danger of engaging quacks and the benefits of professionalisation of teachers, adding that teaching in Nigeria is now recognised as a profession, courtesy of the TRCN. While stating that the major criteria for any occupation to be called a profession is to have a regulatory body, he said graduates of all teacher training institutions in Nigeria now write the teachers’ professional qualifying examination administered by the TRCN.
The TRCN boss, who maintained that the TRCN is doing a lot to strengthen professionalism in the teaching profession in Nigeria, said strengthening of the teaching profession was not only limited to local benchmarking but also internationally, stating that between January and May, about 40 teachers have been approved by the council for acceptance in Canada. He lamented that many states were not doing well on the continuous training of teachers, while others are doing well, and some have not employed teachers in the last ten years. Explaining the mandatory continuing professional development (MCPD), Professor Gbenga Adewale, the lead facilitator at the training, said MCPD is a critical element of every great profession because it serves as a means by which professionals increase their knowledge, skills, ethics, and competence over time.
“The objective of Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) is to open teachers up to new ideas in the teaching profession around the globe. The MCPD also allows teachers to develop and demonstrate their profound competence against set standards. Such an opportunity is intended to be original, creative, and thought-provoking. This explains why this year’s MCPD focuses on Accelerating Teachers’ Classroom Delivery in Mathematics, English Studies, and ICT. “Specifically, three manuals were developed around strengthening the Mathematics teachers’ capacity to meet the 21st-century challenges, strengthening the English Studies teachers’ capacity to meet the 21st-century challenges, and strengthening the ICT teachers’ capacity to meet the 21st century’s challenges. He said the workshop was meant to increase the classroom delivery capacity of the participants, which should reflect positively on the learners’ outcomes.