The executive secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc Sonny Echono has said the federal government’s plan to place students studying education on scholarship and other incentives will boost enrollment into the programme and attract best brains into the teaching profession.
Echono stated this at a two-day capacity building programme for heads of Colleges of Education (Northern Zone) with the theme, “Enhancing Pedagogical Skills and Curriculum Development For Quality Education Delivery In Nigeria Colleges of Education.”
The TETFund boss decried the dwindling enrollment into educational courses, poor remuneration of teachers and the low perception of the teaching profession in the country as factors keeping the best brains away.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving so many incentives for teachers, saying the target to be paying stipend to students studying educational courses in tertiary institutions will boost the profession.
“Enrolment in education courses generally has been dwindling and the demand is very low. The remuneration is very poor, the public perception and reputation and everything are very low so nobody wants to go there.
“So, when you incentivize like Mr President has done it will attract people there and we should implement those incentives quickly.
“The first that will attract a lot of students is the fact that the government has said those studying education in our colleges of education as well as in our universities will move quickly to ensure they no longer pay any tuition fee and be placed on automatic scholarships or what we call stipends on a monthly basis. That way, a lot of those who even have difficulties in meeting the financial requirements will see it as a variable option and career,” he said.
Echono also urged state governments to ensure that only qualified persons are employed into the teaching profession to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.
The workshop which is aimed at creating programmes that can revive the glory of the NCE programme in Nigeria is organised by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) in collaboration with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund).
He lamented that most of the teachers recruited across states were not competent enough while stressing the need to reposition the teaching profession in order to attract the best brains.
Echono admitted that the country is currently facing the issue of funding that needs to be addressed from the root through birth control.