THE Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has said Nigeria is yet to achieve 100 per cent qualified teachers in primary education despite huge investments by the Federal Government.
UBEC added that the Federal Government had disbursed N57.16 billion to states for teachers’ professional development programmes in the last 13 years.
Speaking at the national conference on Teacher Professional Development (TPD) on Monday, June 5, in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Hamid Bobboyi bemoaned state governments’ lack of commitment towards enhancing the capacity of teachers through regular training.
Bobboyi explained that the 2022 National Personnel Audit (NPA) disclosed majority of teachers in public and primary schools had not attended in-service training in five years.
“The UBEC 2022 NPA reveals that 67.5 per cent of teachers in public schools and 85.3 per cent in private schools have not attended any in-service training in five years (2018-2022). This prevailing situation has implications for quality education delivery.
“The Federal Government, through UBEC, has contributed a total of N57,165,751,416.12 as assistance to the states for Teacher Professional Development between 2009 and 2022.
“This is grossly inadequate to cover the training needs of the teachers. The states that are being assisted have come to depend largely on the Federal Government fund for their TPD, with little or no contribution. This is a major challenge in assuring quality learning outcomes at the basic education level.”
The UBEC executive secretary further expressed his dissatisfaction on the poor teacher-to-pupil ratio in Nigeria, stressing that the dearth of teachers negatively influenced the quality of education.
“The following data were returned from the UBEC 2022 National Personnel Audit of Basic Education Institutions in the country. There were 177,027 basic education institutions with a total enrolment of 47,010,008, made up of 7,234,695 in ECCDE, 31,771,916 in primary schools and 8,003,397 in junior secondary schools,
“For teacher supply, there were 354,651 teachers/caregivers in the ECCDE centres; 915,593 in primary schools and 416,291 in junior secondary schools.
According to Bobboyi, “The learner/pupil ratio varies from state to state, but none is within the recommended ratio. There are states where the learner/pupil ratio is as high as 1:100 pupils. Nigeria is yet to attain 100 per cent qualified teachers in primary schools.”
He expressed worries over the limited number of qualified teachers and increasing rate of unqualified teachers in primary schools across the country.
“It is sad to find that some of the people teaching in schools are holders of the first school leaving certificate, basic education certificate, senior secondary school certificate, associate certificate in education, diploma certificate.”
The UBEC executive secretary however urged all conference participants and resource persons to collectively adopt new ways to boost learning in basic schools across the country.
“It is time for us to review our practice and approaches and ensure that the main objective for the introduction and implementation of TPD which is improved teacher and learner performance is achieved for the benefit of the learners and the nation at large.”