By Adebayo Olodan
The Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Kwara State chapter, Alhaji Musa Abubakar has berated the alarming number of illegal and unqualified teachers in the country, saying they have continued to make the profession uninteresting and unrewarding to professionals.
Musa, who made the disclosure to at his office recently said, the state chapter of NUT is determined to weed the profession of unqualified teachers in line with the directive of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).
He said, “Like it is the case with Doctors, Engineers, Surveyors and other disciplines, we intend to professionalise the teaching profession so that only well trained and qualified teachers are employed by government and proprietors of schools.
“TRCN which is the body saddled with the responsibility of registering and regulating activities of teachers in the country is working assiduously to ensure teaching becomes professional,” he said.
Abubakar said most private schools proprietors are guilty of employing unqualified teachers, who they in turn pay meagre amount as salary. He also blamed some political office holders for ‘politicising the profession,’ saying unqualified teachers get teaching jobs at the expense of knowledgeable people due to political inclination.
“There are many private schools that employ secondary school leavers as teachers in the country because they believe recruiting graduates would be too expensive for them.
“Also, our politicians would rather secure teaching employment for people that are loyal to them or their family members even if such person is not qualified to teach. This situation leaves many teachers with first and second degrees without any job,” he lamented.
The NUT boss however urged government at all levels not to commercialise education and to make teachers’ welfare a priority in order to make the profession attractive to qualified teachers.
“Teachers’ motivation is a problem in this nation and that is where we are getting it wrong. There are other countries where teachers are better paid than other professions and if we can adopt such practice, we are likely to have the best brains impacting knowledge on our students,” he said.
Recall that TRCN at the end of a three-day workshop on ‘Implementation of Professional Standard for Nigerian Teachers’ held at the University of Ibadan recently issued a communiqué warning that it will no longer tolerate illegal and unqualified teachers in schools.
The body through its Registrar, Prof Olusegun Ajiboye said TRCN certificate and license should be used as requirement for the employment of teachers in various states and the country.