Dr Sunday Olawale, a Chief Lecturer at the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, has urged universities and colleges of education to stop offering admissions to candidates who are not qualified or passionate about teaching profession.
Olawale stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Thursday while dissecting the theme of the 2023 World Teachers’ Day.
NAN reports that this year’s World Teachers’ Day has as its theme: “The Teachers We Need for the Education We Want: The Global Imperative to Reverse the Teacher Shortage.”
Olawale noted with sadness that most tertiary institutions in the country had continued to sacrifice excellence on the altar of money by granting admissions to candidates who did not meet the required standard to become teachers.
“This theme has been carefully chosen, especially with respect to the falling standard of education in Nigeria and what can be done to address it.
“Government has accepted the reality that there is a shortage of teachers in schools across Nigeria, particularly pre-primary, primary and secondary schools.
“Addressing the challenge of inadequate teachers is, however, not enough, but to put in place the right kind of teachers.
“The other time, a former governor attempted to change the narrative in his state by conducting tests to remove unqualified teachers from the educational system but people nearly crucified him for doing the right thing,” he said.
According to the educationist, if there is no foundation, there is nowhere to build anything on.
Also speaking with NAN, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Oyo State wing, Mr Oladimeji Raji, said that government should recruit fresh teachers into schools before the aging ones disengaged from service.
Oladimeji said that this would afford the new teachers the opportunity of tapping from the experiences of the older ones.
“It is not exactly on the day somebody is pronounced a medical doctor that he starts performing surgery.
“Government should try to check the rate at which experienced teachers move abroad in the name of poor condition of service.
“Although teachers’ shortage is a global phenomenon, our government should continue to strive harder to get more teachers into the system.
“To some extent, Oyo State government has tried by employing about 5,000 secondary teachers in 2021.
“What is next now is for the state government to engage more primary school teachers to respond to the high volume of pupils,” Raji said.
NAN reports that World Teachers’ Day was declared by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to raise awareness on the significance of teachers in education.