Reintroduce teaching practice allowance, TRCN boss urges govt

Josiah Ajiboye
Josiah Ajiboye, TRCN Registrar

The Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has urged the Federal Government to reintroduce teaching practice allowance for education students across the country.

Registrar of the council, Josiah Ajiboye, made the proposition at an ongoing stakeholders’ workshop in Enugu on Wednesday.

According to him, the reintroduction of teaching practice allowance for third year and final year students, through the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) will further boost education standards in the country.

He also suggested that special allowances be approved for science teachers and those posted to teach in rural areas.

Ajiboye explained that the council, being the largest regulatory body for the teaching profession in Nigeria, was in the process of developing a Career Path Policy.

He said that the policy would provide guidelines and principles for career growth of professional teachers in the country.

“Teaching has historically been seen as an ‘upstaged’ occupation with few opportunities to access higher earning and higher status positions as one would experience in other ‘staged professions’,” the University of Ibadan professor said.

“In most countries, Nigeria inclusive, upward movement within the salary scale is determined by number of years served rather than actual performance; this needs to be changed.”

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“In the teaching profession, income increments are modest and there are few status differences among practitioners.”

He further stated that the generic static career structure holds little promise of attracting or retaining good teachers.

“Besides that, turnover and attrition are extremely costly to the profession of teaching, both in terms of the human and financial costs. This situation is expected to grow worse.

“There is no policy targeted to remedy or stabilise the teaching force, leading to the under-utilisation of talents of experienced teachers.

“Currently, the Nigerian teacher does not have room to grow in their career pathway; he remains a classroom teacher throughout his years in service.

“Only few lucky ones advance to become head teachers, Vice Principals and Principals. There is no doubt that this situation demoralises the teachers.”

Also speaking at the event was the Secretary General, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Mike Ike who urged TRCN to execute the Policy and other numerous programmes aimed at making the teaching profession the envy of other professions.

Dr Ike tasked all stakeholders to generously contribute ideas that would build a worth-while career document for teachers in the country.

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“We need to join hands and build the teaching profession by the instrumentality of an enviable professional career structure document which we will produce today.”

TRCN Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Paulina Pam, in a remark, said that the TRCN initiated the policy in its bid to “revolutionise and standardise” the teaching profession.

Ms Pam stated that the workshop would seek to harmonise all inputs and present the final Career Path Policy document at the plenary session.

She added that selected members of the national stakeholders meeting would constitute a core group that would further enrich the document.

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