Ijebu-Ode (Ogun), June 22, 2012 (NAN) Prof. Peter Okebukola, Former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC) has called for five years regular revalidation of teacher certificate for improved teaching in schools.
Okebukola made the call on Friday at the first distinguished lecture organised by the College of Science and Information Technology, Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijebu-Ode, Ogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture was ``Rethinking Teacher Education In Nigeria''.
He explained that the quality of graduate teachers in Nigeria in relation to the minimum standards as accessed through a survey by NUC showed a very poor percentage of efficiency over the years.
Okebukola said that most graduates teachers lacked professionalism, inadequate exposure to teaching practice, shallow-subject matter knowledge and inability to communicate effectively in English.
Besides, the former NUC boss said that the low rating of the teaching profession was seen in the scanty application for admission into faculties and college of education.
He said that the pervasive notion was that only ``academic dregs make up the bulk of teachers, both in-service and practising''.
``In 2011, of the over 1,300,000 applications for university admission, less than five per cent applied for courses in Education.
``Worse still, only, only few applications were received for the colleges of education. These data point to the lack of interest of candidates for a career in the teaching profession.
``The pervasive notion is that only the academic dregs make up the bulk of teachers-both in-service and practising.
``This notion is highly contestable giving the high calibre, commitment and industry of a good number of teachers,'' he said.
Okebukola, however, suggested that as part of ways to solve the challenge of teacher education in Nigeria, a five-year degree programme should be introduced in tertiary institutions.
He also suggested the admission of students, who can speak and write good English, employment of teachers, who have high content knowledge of the subject to be taught and more time for teaching practice among others.
Earlier in his remark, Prof. Segun Awonusi, TASUED Vice-Chancellor, said that teacher education was the bedrock of all educational attainment in life.
Awonusi explained that there was no area of human endavour that did not require teacher education, adding that no educational system could rise above the quality of its teachers.
He said, ``According to the National Policy on Education (4th edition), teacher education shall produce highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of educational system.
``It will also help teachers to fit into social life of the country and society at large and enhance their commitment to the national goals.
``Despite all the efforts of those charged with the implementation of the Nigerian educational policies, the question that keeps coming to mind is why teacher education in Nigeria not really achieving the purpose for which it is meant.
``It is obvious that no nation can rise above the level and competence of its manpower. When teacher education is not well managed, the tendency is for the educational system to be adversely affected.''
In his remarks, Prof. Segun Odubela, the state Commissioner for Education, said government would continue to give teacher education a priority in the state.
Odubela, who said government had spent a lot of money to improve standard of education in the country, stressed that government would not stop in doing so.