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University don advocates high cut-off for education courses

From Stella Obi, Ibadan

Registrar and Chief Executive of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Segun Ajiboye has called on Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to make admission into Colleges and Faculties of Education stricter to ensure  best brains enter the teaching profession.

Prof Ajiboye  made the call while presenting the 488th inaugural lecture of the University of Ibadan on Thursday.

In the lecture entitled, 'Teaching: In the Classroom as a Regulator', he opined that  lowering the cut-off for education courses will negatively impact the quality of people who eventually will enter classrooms to teach Nigerian children.

The Professor of Social Studies, Civic and Environmental Studies at the University of Ibadan stated that cut-off to education related courses should rank among the highest.

“Admission into Colleges of Education and Faculties of Education in Nigeria should be stricter. The current practice is dangerous for the future of our education. Those who want to teach our children should be the best in our society and not the dregs. The UTME cut-off marks into Colleges of Education and Faculties of Education, if possible, should rank among the highest. The hydra-headed crisis of quality and quantity of teachers demand a strong policy response. Rebuilding the system should take into account how the once cherished vocation, the mother of all professions should attract the best brains and retain them,” he stated. 

 Prof Ajiboye informed that Nigeria needs to urgently review her teacher education policy and programmes in order to produce 21st century teachers.

The university don was of the view that teachers' training, welfare and an environment that promote learning must be pursued and provided for best learning outcomes.

According to Prof Ajiboye, COVID-19 has challenged Nigeria’s education system, adding that it is important that teacher education programme be reviewed to meet modern day challenges of globalisation and post-COVID era.

“We must urgently do a review of our teacher education policy and program to produce teachers for the 21st century classroom. The rest of the world is not waiting for Nigeria. Professional training is critical, just as mastery of subject matter, teachers’ welfare and an environment that promote learning. It is, therefore, important to stress the fact that the need for a review of our teacher education programme is long overdue. To meet the challenges of globalisation, efforts should be put in place for an immediate review of the curricular, methodology, motivation and resources components of our programme," Prof Ajiboye said. 

Ajiboye noted that teaching in recent times demand a lot more of sophistication than previously, adding that teachers need to be adequately equipped to meet the classroom demands. 

"It is, therefore, incumbent upon governments through their respective Ministries to ensure that quality education is provided to our youth. For quality education to be achieved there must be adequate quality teachers who have gone through quality training, hence the need to re-brand and re-profile the teacher. For this to be realised, there is the need to regulate the teaching profession with a view to ensuring the provision of quality teachers for quality teaching and learning," he stated.

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