TRCN finally launches multimillion naira TIS website after EduCeleb report

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The new look of the TRCN TIS website as at the last week of July 2019
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The Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) has finally launched its Teacher Information System (TIS) website over a month after EduCeleb.com reported about its redundancy.

In a report by this newspaper in June, this medium had observed that the platform, which was suppose to be available to the public since January 2018 was displaying a template site more than 18 months after.

The TRCN had budgeted sums totalling over N75 million for the project across the 2017, 2018 and 2019 national budgets.

EduCeleb.com maintained correspondence with the authorities at the government agency over the subject prior to, and after the report in order to ascertain why nothing related to its purpose was being shown on the web page.

Up till the middle of July, the site available at tis.trcn.edu.ng continued to show features of Habitatery, a furnishing company site, which is assumed to be its template.

But on fresh check earlier in the week, it now displays what depicts its purpose.

What the site looked like till early July 2019

Marred by paucity of funds

The process of getting the TIS available to the public was partly marred by the lack of sufficient funds to execute the project, according a senior official of the teaching profession regulatory agency.

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“The TIS was included in the 2018 capital appropriation but could not be implemented due to paucity of funds,” TRCN Director of Procurement and Planning, Rufus Nggaddah wrote in response to one of our Freedom of Information (FOI) requests on the matter mid-July.

According to him, the funds available had to be use on other capital projects before the Council. So, the TRCN had to “prioritise her projects.”

Inflated contract?

But EduCeleb.com had also learnt through a response to an earlier FOI request in June that the TRCN management approved over 5 million naira more than what was budgeted for the TIS in 2017.

Whereas, the agency got its proposed N42.3 million budget for it approved, it eventually awarded the contract at N49.8 million that year.

The contractor managing the site was Cagewox Dot Net Limited, which was awarded among the three companies that bid for it in the last quarter of 2017. The funds for that were eventually made available in the first quarter of 2018.

With the TRCN not able to implement its plan for the TIS in 2018 budget, Mr Nggaddah told EduCeleb.com that the approved sum of about N30.7 million in 2019 as against the proposed N7.98 million signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in May.

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But still not responsive

TRCN Registrar, Josiah Ajiboye was in 2018 quoted saying that the TIS would enable parents verify quack teachers and schools know qualified ones.

“Parents in Nigeria will be able to know those who are teaching their children in school whether quack or professional teachers,” the teacher education professor said.

“They will be able to make decisions on where to take their ward to for education purposes. The TIS will be useful for knowing the spatial distribution of teachers in Nigeria, their location and their states.”

But on an attempt to log in on the TIS platform or to verify some registered teachers’ TRCN registration, the site kept displaying error messages indicating that the the TRCN number “does not exist” or “no teacher record was found for your search”.

It is not immediately clear why such a problem persists across multiple trials.

This also means that it is yet to really contain all the functionality previously mentioned by the TRCN boss after its upgrading.

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