By Okeoghene Akubuike
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has urged teachers to ensure they were qualified, licensed and registered before 2019 or be flushed out of the classrooms.
Adamu gave the warning while monitoring the 2018 Batch A Teacher Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) in Abuja on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the no fewer than 22,000 would-be teachers are expected to sit for the Computer Based Teachers PQE nationwide scheduled to hold from June 7 to 9.
Adamu, represented by Mr Sonny Echono, the Permanent Secretary, stressed that if teachers were not qualified and properly equipped, the products who are the students would also fall short and ultimately the country will suffer.
“The person at the centre of it all is the teacher, not the pupils and if the teachers are not qualified and properly equipped then how can they give our children the best.
“So as a government we are insisting that we must raise the standards; we must become like other countries of the world.
“We have set a deadline for ourselves and we are going to enforce it.
“If by 2019 you are not a qualified, certified and registered teacher, you will be removed from our classrooms and we will give the job to those who are qualified.
“It is an embarrassment to us that we have so many qualified people without job and we are given the job to people who are not qualified. It is insane.
”In the past, we did not have the right numbers, so we appreciate that those not qualified helped us to meet that shortfall, that is why we have given this time of grace,” he said.
He urged the teachers to continue to improve themselves while their employers would do their part to continue to train an retrain them.
The minister noted that some people were opposing the use of computer based test, which he said was not going to be scrapped.
According to him, all over the world, even primary school pupils are using tablets and devices.
Adamu said that the world was not going to wait for Nigeria, calling on everyone to be vanguards of upgrading the standards in our schools.
He said that there were some logistics problems during the exercise, however, the officials had been able to overcome them.
“We are overwhelmed by the number of teachers writing the examination, which is a good problem to have.
“If we need to do a third diet, we will to it to accommodate everybody,” he said.
Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), said that the examination was written in 42 centres across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT simultaneously.
Ajiboye, however, said that some states started the examination on Thursday, June 7, due to the number of candidates in those states sitting for the examination.
He listed the states include Bauchi, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano and Taraba.
”In Kaduna state, we have about 6,000 candidates, in Kano about 2,000 candidates, in Enugu 3,600, and Taraba about 2,000 candidates.
“The examination will last for 60 minutes to answer 60 questions.
“We have been getting situation reports from the states that all is moving smoothly. “
Ajiboye said that the CBT exam was set based on the different qualification of the teachers, which include NCE, Degree, Masters and PhD holders.
He stressed that by 2019 any teacher who was found in the classrooms not qualified, licensed and registered by TRCN would be flushed out.
Many of the candidates, who spoke with NAN after writing the examination, expressed satisfaction with the process and the examination.
However, a few candidates had challenges using the computer and were not able to finish before they were timed out.
No fewer than 900 candidates wrote the examination in the FCT.