The Federal Government has clarified that the recently approved bursary for education students in colleges of education and universities would be bound by strict conditions.
This implies that such packages are not for everybody.
It revealed this through the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Professor Josiah Ajiboye.
Ajiboye was the guest lecturer during a virtual Teachers’ Day lecture organised by EduCeleb and Edfort Consulting on Saturday with the theme, “Cultivating Teachers’ Professionalis for Education Excellence”.
Recall that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had on October 5 announced the planned payment of N75,000 per semester for every student of public universities studying education programmes.
Similarly, students of colleges of education are also billed to receive N50,000 per semester.
Reacting to inquiries on the modalities for the implementation of the payment package for the students, especially in the face of dwindling revenues in the country, the TRCN boss said the guidelines are currently being finalised by a national implementation committee in charge of that of which he is a member.
He added that the implementation would not commence until 2022, and that such is not the only item on what he described as the “robust welfare package” being planned for the Nigerian teachers.
Mr Ajiboye, who resumed a second term tenure of five years recently, said the efforts are geared towards reclaiming the lost glory in the nation’s education sector.
He said; “Of all the items on the list, it is only the implementation of the 65-year-retirement-age that commenced in January, this year. Others are scheduled for implementation next year.
“Apart from the bursary, we also have a rural housing initiative and allowances for teachers who may be posted to remote locations, teaching practice allowances for both students and lecturers, among others.”
The registrar said aside currently working on the terms and conditions to be attached to some of the welfare packages, the government is also considering putting in place appropriate laws and regulations to avoid policy summersaults.
“We are aware that one of the major challenges governance faces in Nigeria is policy summersaults. So we are working towards ensuring that relevant laws are passed by the legislators towards ensuring their permanence.
“And apart from that, some of these packages will be enjoyed by only those who satisfy some specific terms and conditions. And we have already concluded that some of the packages will be directly handled by existing funding parastatals like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund),” Ajiboye added.
He noted that education was too important to be neglected, saying some of the initiatives of his agency towards professionalising teaching in Nigeria including the mandatory qualifying examination, mandatory continuing professional development programme (MCPDP), and partnerships with relevant global, regional and national agencies are already yielding rewarding fruits.
He said, “Today, if you carry TRCN certificates and licence you are qualified to teach anywhere in the world. I can assure you that this year alone, I have signed not less than 40 letters of good standing for Nigerian teachers who relocated to Canada to work as teachers.
“Today, because of 65-year-retirement-age, some civil servants are already seeking conversion to teaching careers, claiming they have a background in education. They should know that terms and conditions apply.”
He added that where the government is driving the teaching profession in the country is to make it highly competitive and very rewarding, saying it is the mother of all professions.
“It is sad that Nigerian teachers resign in droves and take up even some highly degrading jobs. That is unacceptable, and we will reclaim the lost glory. We must emulate Germany’s former leader, Angela Merkel who insisted she could not pay other professionals higher than teachers because they were taught by the teachers,” he said.