Details of some teachers who had registered with the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) are missing on its database of qualified teachers, EduCeleb.com can report.
Teacher Information System (TIS) The database is publicly available online through the Teacher Information System (TIS).
The TRCN had created the TIS as part of its open legal mandate to rid Nigerian classrooms of unqualified teachers.
Section 17(2) of the TRCN Act of 1993 criminalises failure to register with the TRCN as such individuals seen as impostors in the classroom are liable to be jailed.
Since 2017, the National Council on Education had set a December 2019 deadline for all teachers to be registered following which unregistered ones might lose their jobs.
A few teachers from various parts of Nigeria who claimed to have registered with the teaching profession regulatory agency for between three and twenty years said they could not find their names on the TIS platform. They fear that the situation might land them into trouble on their jobs.
EduCeleb.com had reported in August how the TIS web portal, which was technically inactive for almost eighteen months became public. Prior, we reported that the site displayed features of “Habitatery”, an furnishing service platform instead of the database portal.
TRCN Registrar, Josiah Ajiboye, had once described the TIS portal as one that would help school owners make the right choices of qualified teachers. The open database would also help parents avoid schools where unqualified teachers teach.
“Parents in Nigeria will be able to know those who are teaching their children in school whether quack or professional teachers,” Ajiboye, an education professor said back in 2017.
How the TIS works
A major component of the TIS is that it gives details about registered teachers including their spatial distribution across Nigeria, their academic qualifications, locations and their states.
To verify a registered teacher’s details, one is required to visit Tis.trcn.gov.ng. On the homepage, there are two ways to go about verification of a teacher’s registration.
If the website visitor has the TRCN number of the teacher, he/she may click on the “Verify a TRCN License” option.
On the other hand, one could click on “Check a Teacher’s Registration Status Online” option. This gives room for verification using any of the TRCN registration number, the teacher’s first name or surname.
Complaints by teachers
Since the platform became active late July 2019, EduCeleb.com had asked registered teachers to check their details there to confirm their registration.
While some gave positive feedback about it, others said they could not find their details there.
A Lagos-based teacher, Elijah Ojo had registered with the TRCN in 2015 shortly before the completion of his degree programme.
He was eventually issued his TRCN certificate, which contained all the necessary details that would have helped anyone to verify him as a registered teacher.
He received an error messages which indicated that his details were not available on the database.
Another teacher in Minna, Bimpe Adebiyi who registered about twenty years ago revealed that he did so on two occasions when he was issued two different TRCN registration numbers.
Ms Adebiyi said that she tried verifying with her names too but the data results did not include his. She also reportedly checked using the numbers too all to no avail.
Also, a teacher with a PhD at one of Nigeria’s new generation universities, Thomas Agbaje said he used the platform but couldn’t find his details there too.
He revealed noticing that all the results displayed included mainly those who did not have beyond a Bachelor’s degree.
According to him, “some registered persons with higher educational qualifications were conspicuously missing on the list. I don’t know maybe that is why my name is not there too.”
Why some names are missing
TRCN boss, Josiah Ajiboye explained that the reason behind the missing names of some teachers was perhaps because they did not regularise their licences.
“(Beyond registration,) teachers are also suppose to pay annual dues and renew their licences within given times,” he stated.
EduCeleb.com reports that based on TRCN guidelines, the annual due is N2000 for Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) holders, N3000 for degree holders, N3000 for master’s degree holders and N5000 PhD holders depending on the entry level of the registered teacher.
The University of Ibadan don added that teachers who think their names were wrongfully omitted could crosscheck with the TRCN offices in their respective states.
On the category of teachers to be affected by the December deadline, he revealed that the focus was mainly on primary and secondary school teachers even though there are professors in universities who had written the Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) in the past and passed to get registered.