The Universal Basic Education Commission has lamented shortage of teachers across the country.
While disclosing this in a statement on Sunday January 10, 2021, UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, stated that Nigeria has a shortage of 277, 537 teachers at basic level.
He said the figure followed the 2018 National Personnel Audit report on Public and Private Basic Education Schools in Nigeria.
Bobboyi stated that the personnel audit conducted by the Universal Basic Education Commission showed that “while 73 per cent of those teaching in public schools were qualified teachers, only 53 per cent of teachers in private schools are qualified to teach.”
He confirmed that the teachers are those who have the minimum requirement of Nigeria Certificate in Education and above.
Bobboyi, however, stated that there are ongoing reforms to address the anomalies.
He also stressed that 10 per cent (N10 billion) of the entire amount that is received from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of UBEC had been designated for teachers professional development through the States Universal Basic Education Boards.
Bobboyi said, “We remain the biggest teacher development agency in the country; not even the National Teachers’ Institute or any other agency. UBEC’s 10 per cent of the entire amount that is received from the Consolidated Revenue Fund is designated for teachers professional development through the SUBEBs.
“That is something that is very important for us to realise that we pump in a minimum of N10 billion every year for teachers’ professional development in this country.
“This has to be done because it is essential for the teachers to be trained professionally. The quality of teaching given in the class is dependent on the quality of the teachers that are available.”
He added, “However, one of the major challenges is getting qualified teachers to teach the children in the country. The Federal Ministry of Education is trying to address it. For now, every parent wants his or her child to study Medicine, Law, Economics, Engineering, and host of others.
“A situation where a teacher has to rely on support from other members of the family in almost everything, be it marriage, child education among others has to be corrected.”
“Our hope is that with the current reforms that are being put in place, where you attract the best candidates into the teaching profession and compensate them adequately, the narrative will change,” he concluded.