Close to 50,000 teachers are at the risk of losing their jobs as the delayed release of results of students who enrolled in two National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) programmes persists.
Several teachers in some privately owned schools across Nigeria had told EduCeleb.com since April that their employers had been issuing them ultimatums to present their Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) licence. But these teachers who were NTI students meant to have graduated in 2017 and 2018 don’t have any results to present in the first instance to enable them do this.
The NTI, which was originally established to train teachers at the least teaching qualification level, the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), had expanded its coverage to degree and postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) within its 41 years of existence. The National Policy on Education recognises its role in teacher education over the years.
While its autonomously managed NCE programme had been relatively smooth with students getting their results on time, the same cannot be said of the other programmes thus threatening the jobs of thousands of teachers across Nigeria.
A resolution reached by the National Council on Education in 2017 had set a December 2019 deadline for all teachers to be licensed by the TRCN.
Part of the process includes having a teaching qualification – a major reason many teachers without one prior enrolled in the NTI PGDE or degree programmes.
Just last week, while announcing the release of results of candidates who wrote the Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE), TRCN Registrar, Josiah Ajiboye reiterated commitment to removing all teachers without TRCN licence from the classroom. The PQE is one of the steps towards being issued he TRCN certification aside academic qualifications.
Unsettled affiliation matters
Last November, EduCeleb.com reported about the delayed release of the 2017 PGDE results that was attributed to some documentation issues with affiliations.
Earlier, the NTI PGDE programme was entirely affiliated with Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) until the NTI decided to decentralise its affiliation among UDUS and five other universities across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Under the new arrangement, the NTI PGDE would be affiliated with UDUS in the North West, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) in the North East, and the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) in the North Central.
Students from the Southwest would be awarded certificates of the University of Ibadan (UI) while those in the South East and South South would get those of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) and the University of Port Harcourt respectively.
The degree programme is almost entirely affiliated with the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) save for the Social Studies and Human Kinetics and Health Education affiliated with UNIMAID.
The NTI told this newspaper back then that it was concluding that process. But almost eight months after, there is no end in sight to the continuous waiting by students who completed the programme in 2017 and 2018 to see their results.
Continuous follow-up over the months with officials at the NTI headquarters indicated that the process of affiliation is yet to complete in all the schools despite assurances.
According to a senior official at the Institute, Bashir Mamman, the National Universities Commission (NUC) had only been able to issue letter of approval to four of the universities after their managements through their Senates individually signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the NTI.
This leaves issues remaining unsettled with only the UI and UNILORIN. The UI management had already agreed to go on with the affiliation process but awaits NUC approval. Whereas, the UNILORIN Senate is yet to sit after several months to consider the situation.
“The NUC is trying to (wait and) see that they give us the approval (for UI) along with the University of Ilorin at once,” he stated.
NTI delayed results ready but not ready
Mr Mamman who is the Director, Examinations at the NTI told EduCeleb.com over the weekend that all the results students who completed the PGDE and degree programmes in both 2017 and 2018 were ready but they could not be issued to the students until the Senate of the schools of affiliation approves them.
In his words, “The results should have been released long ago. It is only that we cannot release them on our own.”
He noted that only UDUS and the UNIMAID had granted approval and had considered the results of students at their Senate.
But he assured us that those of UNIZIK and UNIPORT would be sorted out before the end of this week at each’s Senate level.
This means that only results of students in the Northeast and the Northwest are fully ready while those of the Southeast and South South are expected to be approved by the end of July. These may be the only sets of students to graduate during the parent universities’ next convocation ceremonies.
A date is yet to be fixed with officials of the UI for consideration of results at the Senate but Mamman hoped that that and the UNILORIN affair would be concluded by the end of August.
Mr Mamman, however, clarified that these arrangements were only for 2017 students because “they are the most pressing now”. The 2018 results would be presented later.
Regarding those in the final year for the degree programme affiliated with NOUN, he said that the NTI management had already presented their results at the Faculty of Education level since May but was only awaiting the outcome of the Senate meeting yet to hold.
Allaying fears of students as TRCN registration is at stake
The NTI chief allayed the fears of students as the December deadline draws closer as the Institute was working to ensure that they are not at any disadvantage to obtain their TRCN certificate
He revealed that the NTI was considering issuing statements of results pending the issuance of the certificate by mother universities once such approval was granted.
He believed that would be useful to the students to apply to write the PQE conducted by the TRCN.
He also commended EduCeleb.com for consistently bringing the issue to the fore while assuring the public that “things would normalise” as soon as the issue of affiliation is finally rested across the schools.
Meanwhile, the TRCN has waded in on the matter assuring the concerned students that it was already in contact with the NTI to ensure they are not left behind.
“I am sure the leadership of NTI is working to deliver on the results,” TRCN chief executive, Ajiboye said, in a phone interview with EduCeleb.com.
Aside the May diet of TRCN conducted PQE, the remaining one is in October for the year.
But Ajiboye, a professor at the University of Ibadan, revealed that concessions may be given where necessary.
“The Governing Council of TRCN at its last meeting had approved that TRCN Management could organise as many PQE as possible to cater for such exigencies,” he hinted.
“We will appraise the situation at the end of the month to decide the next line of action,” he added.