The Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, says that Nigeria has a shortage of 277, 537 teachers at basic level.
He said this is according to the 2018 National Personnel Audit report on Public and Private Basic Education Schools in Nigeria.
The personnel audit conducted by the Universal Basic Education Commission showed that “while 73 per cent of those teaching in public schools were qualified teachers, only 53 per cent of teachers in private schools are qualified to teach.”
The commission said they were those who have the minimum requirement of Nigeria Certificate in Education and above.
Bobboyi, in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Head (Public Relations and Protocol), David Apeh, however, said there were ongoing reforms to address the anomalies.
He also stressed that 10 per cent (N10 billion) of the entire amount that is received from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of UBEC had been designated for teachers professional development through the States Universal Basic Education Boards.
Bobboyi said, “We remain the biggest teacher development agency in the country; not even the National Teachers’ Institute or any other agency. UBEC’s 10 per cent of the entire amount that is received from the Consolidated Revenue Fund is designated for teachers professional development through the SUBEBs. That is something that is very important for us to realise that we pump in a minimum of N10 billion every year for teachers’ professional development in this country.
“This has to be done because it is essential for the teachers to be trained professionally. The quality of teaching given in the class is dependent on the quality of the teachers that are available.
“However, one of the major challenges is getting qualified teachers to teach the children in the country. The Federal Ministry of Education is trying to address it. For now, every parent wants his or her child to study Medicine, Law, Economics, Engineering, and host of others.
“A situation whereas a teacher, one has to rely on support from other members of the family in almost everything, be it marriage, child education among others has to be corrected. According to the 2018 NPA report on Public and Private Basic Education Schools in Nigeria, Nigeria has a shortage of 277, 537 teachers.
“The personnel audit conducted by the UBEC, further indicated that while 73 per cent of those teaching in public schools are qualified teachers, only 53 per cent of teachers in private schools are qualified to teach, that is those that have the minimum requirement of NCE and above.
“Our hope is that with the current reforms that are being put in place where you attract the best candidates into the teaching profession and compensate them adequately, the narrative will change. In many countries and I was in Singapore and they told me that you are better off as a teacher than a medical doctor if it is about money. It is the same thing in Finland.