Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) on Saturday conducted Professional Qualification Examinations (PQE) for the last batch of teachers in 2019, ahead of eviction of unlicensed teachers from classrooms across the country starting in January 2020.
No fewer than 77,000 teacher candidates wrote the professional examination in centres across Nigeria for the TRCN Professional Qualification Certificate (PQC).
The Federal Government of Nigeria had advised teachers to obtain the TRCN issed PQCs to avoid being disqualified from teaching beginning in January 2020.
Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, who represented the Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu, in monitoring the exercise at an Abuja centre, said that the PQE has helped to sanitise the teaching profession, allowing only genuine and licensed teachers access to classrooms.
Echono however hinted that the door will not be completely shut against those who are yet to be certified, in spite of enforcement commencing in January 2020.
“The PQE will continue,” he said, explaining that the “December diet is the last before the deadline as earlier declared by the Federal Government. From January 2020, we would commence the enforcement of eviction of unlicensed teachers from classrooms.
“We would consider providing another chance, perhaps, next year for them, so they can get the qualifications, and if they are lucky, we would welcome them back.
“But they can choose to join other professions other than teaching if they choose not to get certified by TRCN. Howbeit, we have drawn the line at this point, that unlicensed teachers are leaving our classrooms beginning from January,” the Permanent Secretary stated.
Meanwhile, TRCN Registrar Prof Josiah Ajiboye, in his remarks, disclosed that the exercise was successful across all locations, except for Ekiti State where it was temporarily suspended due to some technical issues beyond the control of the Council.
He disclosed that Lagos State had the highest number of candidates, with 8,000 teacher candidates in two centres. He further revealed that Oyo State, with over 5,000, is among the states with the high interest.
The TRCN boss said he was impressed with the response from teachers regarding the professional qualifications since 2017 when the exercise started, assuring them of its benefits.