“?Poor funding, decay of infrastructure, lack of conducive learning and teaching environments, absence of good, well-stocked libraries, inadeanate online computer-driven libraries, laboratories without equipment, poor academic staffing, irrelevant curriculum have all combined to lower the standard of education in the country” – Professor Babs Fafunwa
As important as it is writing this topic, so painful it appears to many that have passed through different levels of teacher’s education, while others see it has a major breakthrough to their profession.
Teachers education is widely hyped all over the world, as teachers are seen as the first point of contact in the nation’s building, thus, a foundation to every profession. In Nigeria we have many institutions recognised for teachers training, which includes the National Teachers institute, College of education as well as faculty of education in the universities, as an experienced writer who have gone through two of the aforementioned, my ordeal, though may not be applicable to others perception, yet it’s a tip to the pain the graduates of these institutions face upon seeking a job to compliment the time and resources invested in seeking a certificate under the teaching profession.
After more than three (3) years of acquiring a National Certificate in Education, I deemed it fit to apply for a teaching job, after much interviews, I was offered a teaching job and the monthly payment was presented for N12,000:00k, the terms of condition also include taking Biology, Chemisty, and Introductory technology, in addition, I have to resumed 7:00AM and close by 5:00PM daily, aside Saturdays an Sundays. Nothing is so disheartening as seeing SSCE holders happily going for? the job at N10,000:00k. I mean the profession is so loose that non-professionals and the non-certified are engaged to teach a child, hence, the quacks have taken over the profession which is a major reason for the decay in the system. Then how can the fifteen (15) courses or more done per semester in the colleges of education be justified?
Teachers education seems to be much underrated that students-teachers under training are compelled to pay for offering a service to the nation instead of encouraging them to be better, this however gives room for more corruption in the system as against other profession where people under training are paid stipends and encouraged to be great. Similarly, the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), a scheme initiated by Federal government under the provision of the law have also been watched to make unprofessional decisions such has sending graduates that have not been certified to teach to go into the classroom, only if ‘just anybody’ can be sent to the hospitals to treat and prescribe drugs, then this will be justifiable.
This doesn’t just signify that the trend so far justify that putting in for an education course may be a mere waste of time but further connote the weakness of various Professional bodies that have left the professional teachers in the atmosphere of doubt.
The Teachers registration council of Nigeria (TRCN) have over the years collected money to certify teachers that have met the requirement, yet, the body have failed to guide the profession which insinuates that the funds collected may have been siphoned and may reflect the emergence of some like minds that are much interested in augmentation of their “stomach infrastructure”.
So are the Colleges of education staffs union (COEASU), NASU, SUCCOEN, whose interest lies in the internal politics, securing projects, and getting appointments. The leaderships of the National Teachers Institute (NTI) may also be seen as a money generating machine while various alumni association of these institutions may have lost focus, not forgetting the various faculties of education teachers and professors.
The essence of writing this piece isn’t to paint an ugly picture of what is not but to exemplify the reality that hits the present state of teacher’s education in the country, only few of the teachers institute have gotten more private and government attention. Universities, Polytechnics, while the college of education and the Teachers training institute are seen as the ‘Superiors’.
In the context, the colleges of education and the teachers training institute are merely seen as a glorified secondary and this picture needs to be repainted of what these institutions are not and stating the main reason why it needs more investment and commitment?.
Only few of the yearly enrolled students in the schools under these categories primarily chose it as their choice of institution, yet, there is best out of our schools, as it has produced many dignitaries.
The National Union of Teachers whose strength was felt long ago is gradually declining from its primary objectives, I doubt if they verify their members qualifications or they’re merely interested in getting more dues to the union’s account.
The federal and state government does not need to continue with the illegality of employing just anybody to be a teacher, rather help revive the system they’re investing into.
To revive the image of the teachers education and its products, all hands have to be on deck, and the objectives reinstated.
TEACHERS EDUCATION: OVER OR UNDER-RATED?
Eniola Opeyemi writes…